This evidence summary was written by:

William B. Grant, Ph.D.
Sunlight, Nutrition, and Health Research Center (SUNARC)
P.O. Box 641603
San Francisco, CA 94164-1603, USA       
[email protected]

Complete bibliography of research used in this summary

We found a significant body of evidence when researching the role of vitamin D in pre-eclampsia. The research we have cited in our summary is listed below, with links to PubMed abstracts and full-text for those who wish to explore further.


Page last edited: 03 May 2011


  1. Anton, L. Merrill, D. C. Neves, L. A. Diz, D. I. Corthorn, J. Valdes, G. Stovall, K. Gallagher, P. E. Moorefield, C. Gruver, C. Brosnihan, K. B. The uterine placental bed Renin-Angiotensin system in normal and preeclamptic pregnancy. Endocrinology. 2009 Sep; 150 (9): 4316-25.
  2. Baker, A. M. Haeri, S. Camargo, C. A., Jr. Espinola, J. A. Stuebe, A. M. A Nested Case-Control Study of Midgestation Vitamin D Deficiency and Risk of Severe Preeclampsia. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Aug 18;
  3. Barrett, H. McElduff, A. Vitamin D and pregnancy: An old problem revisited. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Aug; 24 (4): 527-39.
  4. Berg, C. J. Mackay, A. P. Qin, C. Callaghan, W. M. Overview of maternal morbidity during hospitalization for labor and delivery in the United States: 1993-1997 and 2001-2005. Obstet Gynecol. 2009 May; 113 (5): 1075-81.
  5. Bodnar, L. M. Catov, J. M. Roberts, J. M. Racial/ethnic differences in the monthly variation of preeclampsia incidence. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2007 Apr; 196 (4): 324 e1-5.
  6. Bodnar, L. M. Catov, J. M. Simhan, H. N. Holick, M. F. Powers, R. W. Roberts, J. M. Maternal vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of preeclampsia. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Sep; 92 (9): 3517-22.
  7. Bodnar, L. M. Simhan, H. N. Vitamin D may be a link to black-white disparities in adverse birth outcomes. Obstet Gynecol Surv. 2010 Apr; 65 (4): 273-84.
  8. Chung, M. Balk, E. M. Brendel, M. Ip, S. Lau, J. Lee, J. Lichtenstein, A. Patel, K. Raman, G. Tatsioni, A. Terasawa, T. Trikalinos, T. A. Vitamin D and calcium: a systematic review of health outcomes. Evid Rep Technol Assess (Full Rep). 2009 Aug; (183): 1-420.
  9. Colatrella, A. Loguercio, V. Mattei, L. Trappolini, M. Festa, C. Stoppo, M. Napoli, A. Hypertension in diabetic pregnancy: impact and long-term outlook. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Aug; 24 (4): 635-51.
  10. Forman, J. P. Williams, J. S. Fisher, N. D. Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D and regulation of the renin-angiotensin system in humans. Hypertension. 2010 May; 55 (5): 1283-8.
  11. Gilbert, J. S. Nijland, M. J. Knoblich, P. Placental ischemia and cardiovascular dysfunction in preeclampsia and beyond: making the connections. Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2008 Nov; 6 (10): 1367-77.
  12. Grant, W. B. Role of vitamin D in up-regulating VEGF and reducing the risk of pre-eclampsia. Clin Sci (Lond). 2009 Jul; 116 (12): 871.
  13. Grant, W. B. Low vitamin D may explain the link between preeclampsia and cardiovascular disease. Am Heart J. 2010 Mar; 159 (3): e19.
  14. Grant, W. B. Relation between prediagnostic serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level and incidence of breast, colorectal, and other cancers. J Photochem Photobiol B. 2010 May 12;
  15. Halhali, A. Tovar, A. R. Torres, N. Bourges, H. Garabedian, M. Larrea, F. Preeclampsia is associated with low circulating levels of insulin-like growth factor I and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D in maternal and umbilical cord compartments. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2000 May; 85 (5): 1828-33.
  16. Haugen, M. Brantsaeter, A. L. Trogstad, L. Alexander, J. Roth, C. Magnus, P. Meltzer, H. M. Vitamin D supplementation and reduced risk of preeclampsia in nulliparous women. Epidemiology. 2009 Sep; 20 (5): 720-6.
  17. Hollis, B. W. Vitamin D requirement during pregnancy and lactation. J Bone Miner Res. 2007 Dec; 22 Suppl 2V39-44.
  18. Hypponen, E. Vitamin D for the prevention of preeclampsia? A hypothesis. Nutr Rev. 2005 Jul; 63 (7): 225-32.
  19. Hypponen, E. Hartikainen, A. L. Sovio, U. Jarvelin, M. R. Pouta, A. Does vitamin D supplementation in infancy reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia?. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 Sep; 61 (9): 1136-9.
  20. Immink, A. Scherjon, S. Wolterbeek, R. Steyn, D. W. Seasonal influence on the admittance of pre-eclampsia patients in Tygerberg Hospital. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2008; 87 (1): 36-42.
  21. Irminger-Finger, I. Jastrow, N. Irion, O. Preeclampsia: a danger growing in disguise. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2008; 40 (10): 1979-83.
  22. Ito, M. Koyama, H. Ohshige, A. Maeda, T. Yoshimura, T. Okamura, H. Prevention of preeclampsia with calcium supplementation and vitamin D3 in an antenatal protocol. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 1994 Nov; 47 (2): 115-20.
  23. Jensen, D. M. Damm, P. Ovesen, P. Molsted-Pedersen, L. Beck-Nielsen, H. Westergaard, J. G. Moeller, M. Mathiesen, E. R. Microalbuminuria, preeclampsia, and preterm delivery in pregnant women with type 1 diabetes: results from a nationwide Danish study. Diabetes Care. 2010 Jan; 33 (1): 90-4.
  24. Johnson, D. D. Wagner, C. L. Hulsey, T. C. McNeil, R. B. Ebeling, M. Hollis, B. W. Vitamin D Deficiency and Insufficiency is Common during Pregnancy. Am J Perinatol. 2010 Jul 16;
  25. Kenny, L. C. Broadhurst, D. I. Dunn, W. Brown, M. North, R. A. McCowan, L. Roberts, C. Cooper, G. J. Kell, D. B. Baker, P. N. Robust early pregnancy prediction of later preeclampsia using metabolomic biomarkers. Hypertension. 2010 Oct; 56 (4): 741-9.
  26. Kuklina, E. V. Ayala, C. Callaghan, W. M. Hypertensive disorders and severe obstetric morbidity in the United States. Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Jun; 113 (6): 1299-306.
  27. Lewis, S. Lucas, R. M. Halliday, J. Ponsonby, A. L. Vitamin D deficiency and pregnancy: from preconception to birth. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2010 Aug; 54 (8): 1092-102.
  28. Lorquet, S. Pequeux, C. Munaut, C. Foidart, J. M. Aetiology and physiopathology of preeclampsia and related forms. Acta Clin Belg. 2010 Jul-Aug; 65 (4): 237-41.
  29. Magnu, P. Eskild, A. Seasonal variation in the occurrence of pre-eclampsia. BJOG. 2001 Nov; 108 (11): 1116-9.
  30. Marya, R. K. Rathee, S. Manrow, M. Effect of calcium and vitamin D supplementation on toxaemia of pregnancy. Gynecol Obstet Invest. 1987; 24 (1): 38-42.
  31. Mongraw-Chaffin, M. L. Cirillo, P. M. Cohn, B. A. Preeclampsia and cardiovascular disease death: prospective evidence from the child health and development studies cohort. Hypertension. 2010 Jul; 56 (1): 166-71.
  32. Mulligan, M. L. Felton, S. K. Riek, A. E. Bernal-Mizrachi, C. Implications of vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy and lactation. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010 May; 202 (5): 429 e1-9.
  33. Olsen, S. F. Secher, N. J. A possible preventive effect of low-dose fish oil on early delivery and pre-eclampsia: indications from a 50-year-old controlled trial. Br J Nutr. 1990 Nov; 64 (3): 599-609.
  34. Olsen, S. F. Secher, N. J. Tabor, A. Weber, T. Walker, J. J. Gluud, C. Randomised clinical trials of fish oil supplementation in high risk pregnancies. Fish Oil Trials In Pregnancy (FOTIP) Team. BJOG. 2000 Mar; 107 (3): 382-95.
  35. Phillips, J. K. Bernstein, I. M. Mongeon, J. A. Badger, G. J. Seasonal variation in preeclampsia based on timing of conception. Obstet Gynecol. 2004 Nov; 104 (5 Pt 1): 1015-20.
  36. Poon, L. C. Kametas, N. A. Valencia, C. Chelemen, T. Nicolaides, K. H. Hypertensive Disorders in Pregnancy: Screening by Systolic Diastolic and Mean Arterial Pressure at 11-13 Weeks. Hypertens Pregnancy. 2010 Sep 6;
  37. Powe, C. E. Seely, E. W. Rana, S. Bhan, I. Ecker, J. Karumanchi, S. A. Thadhani, R. First trimester vitamin D, vitamin D binding protein, and subsequent preeclampsia. Hypertension. 2010 Oct; 56 (4): 758-63.
  38. Powers, R. W. Catov, J. M. Bodnar, L. M. Gallaher, M. J. Lain, K. Y. Roberts, J. M. Evidence of endothelial dysfunction in preeclampsia and risk of adverse pregnancy outcome. Reprod Sci. 2008 Apr; 15 (4): 374-81.
  39. Reslan, O. M. Khalil, R. A. Molecular and vascular targets in the pathogenesis and management of the hypertension associated with preeclampsia. Cardiovasc Hematol Agents Med Chem. 2010 Oct 1; 8 (4): 204-26.
  40. Roberts, J. M. Pearson, G. Cutler, J. Lindheimer, M. Summary of the NHLBI Working Group on Research on Hypertension During Pregnancy. Hypertension. 2003 Mar; 41 (3): 437-45.
  41. Robinson, C. J. Alanis, M. C. Wagner, C. L. Hollis, B. W. Johnson, D. D. Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in early-onset severe preeclampsia. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Oct; 203 (4): 366 e1-6.
  42. Romundstad, P. R. Magnussen, E. B. Smith, G. D. Vatten, L. J. Hypertension in pregnancy and later cardiovascular risk: common antecedents?. Circulation. 2010 Aug 10; 122 (6): 579-84.
  43. Sabetta, J. R. DePetrillo, P. Cipriani, R. J. Smardin, J. Burns, L. A. Landry, M. L. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin d and the incidence of acute viral respiratory tract infections in healthy adults. PLoS One. 2010; 5 (6): e11088.
  44. Shand, A. W. Nassar, N. Von Dadelszen, P. Innis, S. M. Green, T. J. Maternal vitamin D status in pregnancy and adverse pregnancy outcomes in a group at high risk for pre-eclampsia. BJOG. 2010 Dec; 117 (13): 1593-8.
  45. Shin, J. S. Choi, M. Y. Longtine, M. S. Nelson, D. M. Vitamin D effects on pregnancy and the placenta. Placenta. 2010 Sep 21;
  46. Tam, W. H. Sahota, D. S. Lau, T. K. Li, C. Y. Fung, T. Y. Seasonal variation in pre-eclamptic rate and its association with the ambient temperature and humidity in early pregnancy. Gynecol Obstet Invest. 2008; 66 (1): 22-6.
  47. Theobald, G. W. Effect of calcium and vitamins A and D on incidence of pregnancy toxemia. Lancet. 1937 June 12, 1937; 229 (5937): 1397-1399.
  48. Wortelboer, E. J. Koster, M. P. Cuckle, H. S. Stoutenbeek, P. H. Schielen, P. C. Visser, G. H. First-trimester placental protein 13 and placental growth factor: markers for identification of women destined to develop early-onset pre-eclampsia. BJOG. 2010 Oct; 117 (11): 1384-9.
  49. Wu, C. S. Nohr, E. A. Bech, B. H. Vestergaard, M. Catov, J. M. Olsen, J. Health of children born to mothers who had preeclampsia: a population-based cohort study. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Sep; 201 (3): 269 e1-269 e10.