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Vitamin D and gestational diabetes: an update

Joergensen, Jan S.; Lamont, Ronald F.; Torloni, Maria R.

Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care: July 2014 - Volume 17 - Issue 4 - p 360–367
doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000064
CARBOHYDRATES: Edited by Luc Tappy and Bettina Mittendorfer

Purpose of review Vitamin D status (which is involved in glucose homeostasis) is related to gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). GDM is characterized by increased resistance to and impaired secretion of insulin and results in higher risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes including operative delivery, macrosomia, shoulder dystocia and neonatal hypoglycemia. Women with GDM and their babies are at increased risk for developing type II diabetes.

Recent findings International definitions of vitamin D deficiency and normality are inconsistent. Vitamin D deficiency is common in pregnant women particularly those with poor diets and who have dark skins living in temperate climes with lack of exposure to sunlight.

Summary Few interventional studies indicate that supplementation optimizes maternal vitamin D status or improves maternal glucose metabolism. Observational studies about maternal vitamin D status and risk of GDM are conflicting. This could be because of measurement of vitamin D or differences in population characteristics such as ethnicity, geographic location, gestational age at sampling and diagnostic criteria for GDM. Good-quality randomized controlled trials are required to determine whether vitamin D supplementation decreases the risk of GDM or improves glucose tolerance in diabetic women.

aDepartment of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Clinical Institute, University of Southern Denmark, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark

bDivision of Surgery, University College, London, Northwick Park Institute of Medical Research Campus, London, UK

cBrazilian Cochrane Centre

dDepartment of Internal Medicine, São Paulo Federal University, São Paulo, Brazil

Correspondence to Jan S. Joergensen, PhD, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Odense University Hospital, Odense 5000, Denmark. Tel: +45 65415154; fax: +45 24228323; e-mail:

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