Evid Based Med 17:186-187 doi:10.1136/ebmed-2012-100778
  • Therapeutics

Study of the effect of calcium supplementation during pregnancy on the risk of preterm birth or low birthweight infants is inconclusive

  1. Winston Koo
  1. Correspondence to Winston Koo
    Department of Pediatrics, Neonatology, Lousiana State University, 1501 King's Hwy, Shreveport, LA 71130, USA; wkoo{at}

Commentary on:


Multiple compensatory mechanisms including increased absorption, decreased excretion and altered metabolism played key roles in maintaining calcium homeostasis during pregnancy and lactation. Under normal circumstances, the loss of bone mass in the maternal skeleton during pregnancy and lactation appears to be reversible. Thus dietary reference intake for calcium remains age specific and no additional calcium is recommended for pregnancy or lactation at least in USA.1 However, the role of calcium supplementation in relation to overall maternal nutritional status is not well defined.


This is a systematic review with meta-analysis of randomised control trials of pregnant women who received calcium supplementation (vs placebo or no supplement) on maternal (other than hypertension), …