Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Get plenty of Vit. D when trying to conceive

Benefits Of Vitamin D
Healthy Living Articles Health.com

By Erica Kain
With all of the recent news stories about the potential benefits of Vitamin D—namely strong teeth and bones, a reduced risk of cancer, and an improved mood—it should come as no surprise that the vitamin may be beneficial to pregnant women.

But I was blown away by a recent study that showed a connection between IVF success rates and Vitamin D.

Could upping my intake really help me conceive?

The study found that women with a higher vitamin D level in their serum and follicular fluid (the fluid in a developing ovarian follicle) are “significantly more likely to achieve clinical pregnancy” following an IVF-embryo transfer.

Lubna Pal, MBBS, an author of the study and director of the program for polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) at the Yale Fertility Center, cautions that we don’t have enough data to definitively support the connection. However, she theorizes that Vitamin D affects the endometrium (the lining of the uterus), and research suggests that it may stimulate suppressor Th2 cells, which help the body maintain a pregnancy.

The potential correlation between Vitamin D deficiency and failed IVF cycles is a revelation that merits further study, and Dr. Pal says this may help explain why ethnic minorities have lower success rates in IVF. In particular, African American patients were found to have lower IVF success rates, and likewise, they were found to have lower levels of vitamin D. This particular deficiency is a well-known phenomenon, since people with darker skin who live far from the equator are particularly at risk for Vitamin D deficiency.

In the meantime, Dr. Pal warned that women of color aren’t the only ones that need to have their Vitamin D levels checked. According to her, 70-80% of the population are deficient in Vitamin D (which is a shame because there are so many non-skeletal benefits to the vitamin only now being discovered). She advises women to get plenty of Vitamin D when trying to conceive, and once they do conceive, use vitamin D to avert preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.

article found here
image from glitter-graphics.com

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