Prepregnancy habitual intake of vitamin D from diet and supplements in relation to risk of gestational diabetes mellitus: A prospective cohort study

Wei Bao, Yiqing Song, Kimberly A. Bertrand, Deirdre K. Tobias, Sjurdur F. Olsen, Jorge E. Chavarro, James L. Mills, Frank B. Hu, Cuilin Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Background: Vitamin D may play a pivotal role in regulating insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity. However, the effect of vitamin D intake, either from the diet or from supplements, on the development of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) remains unclear. We prospectively examined the association of prepregnancy habitual intake of vitamin D from diet and supplements with the risk of incident GDM in a well-established cohort. Methods: The present study was performed on 21 356 singleton pregnancies from 15 225 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II cohort. Diet information, including vitamin D intake from food sources and supplements, was assessed in 1991 and every 4 years thereafter by validated food frequency questionnaires. Log-binomial models with generalized estimating equations were used to estimate relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results: During 10 years of follow-up, 865 incident GDM cases were documented. After adjustment for age, parity, race/ethnicity, family history of diabetes, dietary and lifestyle factors, and body mass index, the RRs (95% CIs) of GDM risk associated with supplemental vitamin D intake of 0, 1–399, and ≥400 IU/day were 1.00 (reference), 0.80 (0.67–0.96), and 0.71 (0.56–0.90), respectively (Ptrend = 0.002). Dietary and total vitamin D intakes were also inversely associated with GDM risk, but the associations were not statistically significant. Conclusions: Prepregnancy supplemental vitamin D intake was significantly and inversely associated with risk of GDM. This study indicates potential benefits of increasing vitamin D intake from supplements in the prevention of GDM in women of reproductive age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-379
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Diabetes
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018



  • diet
  • gestational diabetes mellitus
  • nutrition
  • preconception
  • vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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