Who knew the Sun could help you get pregnant!

47Women with a vitamin D deficiency were significantly less likely to conceive through in vitro fertilization (IVF) as women who had sufficient levels of the vitamin, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).  Vitamin D is linked to better quality embryos and increased chance of implantation.

Long known for its role in bone health, vitamin D is a steroid hormone that is emerging as a factor in fertility. Studies have shown that the hormone, which is produced in the skin as a result of sun exposure as well as absorbed from some fortified foods, directly affects fertility.   To examine vitamin D in human fertility, Italian researchers studied women undergoing IVF.   “Our work is the largest study to date to examine how vitamin D affects fertility in women who are undergoing IVF,” said one of the study’s authors, Alessio Paffoni, MSc, of the Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico in Milan, Italy.

“We found that women who had sufficient levels of vitamin D were more likely to produce high-quality embryos and more likely to become pregnant than women who were deficient in vitamin D.”   Women who had sufficient levels of vitamin D were nearly twice as likely to conceive as their counterparts with vitamin D deficiency.

Since women with sufficient levels of the hormone were more likely to produce top-quality embryos, researchers theorized vitamin D was involved in the production of quality eggs in the ovaries as well as the successful implantation of embryos in the uterus.   “Although randomized clinical trials are needed to confirm the findings, our results certainly suggest that low levels of vitamin D contribute to infertility,” Paffoni said. “Since vitamin D supplementation is an inexpensive and simple intervention with few relevant side effects, additional study in this area has the potential to markedly influence the way infertility is treated.”

Published on August 17, 2014 at 11:19 AM Source:  The Endocrine Society

 
 

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