Vitamin D supplementation has metabolic benefits for women at risk of pre-eclampsia

The effects of vitamin D plus calcium supplementation on metabolic profiles, biomarkers of inflammation, oxidative stress and pregnancy outcomes in pregnant women at risk for pre-eclampsia

Samimi et al., JHND Early View


The present study was designed to examine the effects of vitamin D plus calcium administration on metabolic profiles and pregnancy outcomes among women at risk for pre-eclampsia.


In a prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 60 women at risk for pre-eclampsia were randomised to take either 50 000 IU vitamin D3 every 2 weeks plus 1000 mg day−1 calcium supplements (as calcium carbonate) (n = 30) or to receive placebos at the same times (n = 30) from 20 to 32 weeks of gestation. Fasting blood samples were taken at baseline and 12 weeks after intervention to determine related variables. Newborn anthropometric measurements were determined.


Taking combined cholecalciferol and calcium supplements, compared to placebo, led to significant reductions in fasting plasma glucose (FPG) [mean (SD)] [−5.7 (5.5) versus −0.6 (12.6) mg dL−1P = 0.04], serum insulin concentrations [−2.8 (6.0) versus +7.7 (9.8) μIU mL−1P< 0.001], homeostasis model of assessment-insulin resistance [−0.8 (1.3) versus +1.6 (2.2), P < 0.001], homeostatic model assessment-beta cell function [−8.2 (25.8) versus +32.6 (41.3, P < 0.001] and a significant rise in quantitative insulin sensitivity check index score [+0.02 (0.02) versus −0.02 (0.02, P < 0.001]. Additionally, pregnant women who received cholecalciferol plus calcium supplements had increased serum high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol [+4.6 (8.3) versus −2.9 (7.7) mg dL−1P = 0.001] and plasma total glutathione (GSH) concentrations [+23.4 (124.0) versus −94.8 (130.2) μm, P = 0.001] compared to placebo. However, after adjustment for the baseline levels, maternal age and baseline body mass index, the effects on FPG levels (P = 0.13) and systolic blood pressure (P = 0.13) disappeared.


Vitamin D plus calcium administration for 12 weeks had beneficial effects on glycaemic status, HDL-cholesterol, GSH and blood pressure among women at risk for pre-eclampsia.

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