Vitamin D and adverse pregnancy outcomes: beyond bone health and growth.Proc Nutr Soc. 2012 May; 71(2):205-12.PN
Concerns exist about adequacy of vitamin D in pregnant women relative to both maternal and fetal adverse health outcomes. Further contributing to these concerns is the prevalence of inadequate and deficient vitamin D status in pregnant women, which ranges from 5 to 84% globally. Although maternal vitamin D metabolism changes during pregnancy, the mechanisms underlying these changes and the role of vitamin D during development are not well understood. Observational evidence links low maternal vitamin D status with an increased risk of non-bone health outcome in the mother (pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, obstructed labour and infectious disease), the fetus (gestational duration) and the older offspring (developmental programming of type 1 diabetes, inflammatory and atopic disorders and schizophrenia); but the totality of the evidence is contradictory (except for maternal infectious disease and offspring inflammatory and atopic disorders), lacking causality and, thus, inconclusive. In addition, recent evidence links not only low but also high maternal vitamin D status with increased risk of small-for-gestational age and schizophrenia in the offspring. Rigorous and well-designed randomised clinical trials need to determine whether vitamin D has a causal role in non-bone health outcomes in pregnancy.