The role of vitamin D in pre-eclampsia: a systematic review

Authors : Purswani JM, Gala P, Dwarkanath P, Larkin HM, Kurpad A, Mehta S

Publication Year : 2017

Abstract :


The etiology of pre-eclampsia (PE) is not yet fully understood, though current literature indicates an upregulation of inflammatory mediators produced by the placenta as a potential causal mechanism. Vitamin D is known to have anti-inflammatory properties and there is evidence of an inverse relationship between dietary calcium intake and the incidence of PE. Evidence of the role of vitamin D status and supplementation in the etiology and prevention of PE is reviewed in this article along with identification of research gaps to inform future studies.


We conducted a structured literature search using MEDLINE electronic databases to identify published studies until February 2015. These sources were retrieved, collected, indexed, and assessed for availability of pregnancy-related data on PE and vitamin D.


Several case-control studies and cross-sectional studies have shown an association between vitamin D status and PE, although evidence has been inconsistent. Clinical trials to date have been unable to show an independent effect of vitamin D supplementation in preventing PE.


The included clinical trials do not show an independent effect of vitamin D supplementation in preventing PE; however, issues with dose, timing, and duration of supplementation have not been completely addressed.