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Vitamin D and calcium may benefit pregnant women with gestational diabetes

Published on

11 July 2014

A new study from Iran reports that a supplementation with vitamin D and calcium may improve the metabolic profile of pregnant women suffering from gestational diabetes.

The randomized controlled trial analyzed blood samples of 56 women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) who received supplements with 50000 IU vitamin D3 two times and a daily 1000 mg calcium or a placebo during six weeks (1). The study results showed that women who were treated with vitamin D3 and calcium had significant reductions in fasting plasma glucose, insulin, and LDL cholesterol, as well as impro- vements in insulin sensitivity and increases in HDL cholesterol, compared with those patients who took placebo.

The researchers commented that these beneficial effects on the metabolic profile are important because elevated circulating levels of inflammatory markers and impaired insulin metabolism in GDM can predict neonatal complications and the progression to type 2 diabetes later in life. Impaired insulin metabolism in women with GDM can result in adverse long term maternal outcomes and increased perinatal morbidity (babies large for gestational age, birth trauma, pre-eclampsia), and long-term consequences in the offspring. In addition, increased inflammatory markers in GDM might predict the future development of both metabolic and cardiovascular disease.

Gestational diabetes mellitus, a pregnancy complication, is characterized by carbohydrate intolerance and metabolic disorders. Approximately 7% of all pregnancies in the United States are affected by GDM, but the prevalence ranges from 1 to 14% of all pregnancies in the world depending on the population studied and the diagnostic criteria used. GDM can increase the risk of pre-eclampsia, pre-term delivery and delivery by caesarean section.


  1. Asemi Z. et al. Effects of calcium–vitamin D co-supplementation on glycaemic control, inflammation and oxidative stress in gestational diabetes: a randomised placebo-controlled trial. Diabetologia. Published online June 2014.

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