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Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors

Vitamin D and Fertility

Vitamin D’s benefits have been studied with respect to mood disorders, cancer prevention, and immune boosting among other things.  Now it’s effect on fertility is being studied!

 

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin.  It is found in mushrooms, certain fatty fish, eggs, milk and many milk alternatives.  Our main source of Vitamin D is sunlight – the body can make Vitamin D from cholesterol when our skin is exposed to adequate amounts of sun.  Unfortunately, most of us don’t get enough sunshine, and sunscreens block out the UV rays that our body needs to make Vitamin D.

 

We’ve found that there are Vitamin D receptors and enzymes that use Vitamin D in the reproductive tissues of men and women.  This has lead to much more exciting fertility research!

 

  • We know that women with adequate Vitamin D levels have higher pregnancy rates when undergoing IVF (52.5% vs 37.4% in a study of 173 women in Toronto)
  • We think that Vitamin D may help women with PCOS ovulate more regularly
  • Adequate (but not too high) vitamin D levels are positively associated with good sperm results. This may be partly due to the fact that Vitamin D may increase testosterone levels in men.
  • A study of women with good Vitamin D levels who had PCOS showed increased endometrial/uterine thickness, lower blood cholesterol, normalization of AMH, and more regular ovulation
  • Adequate Vitamin D was associated with fewer uterine fibroids
  • Vitamin D may have a direct effect on AMH, thus leading to a better ovarian reserve in women with optimal Vitamin D levels

 

As with most supplements, it is important to make sure that this is right for you specifically.  An excess of Vitamin D can be harmful to your body and can also negatively effect sperm results and has even been suggested to increase rates of endometriosis.

 

 

 

Dr. Morgan Winton, ND
www.morganwinton.com