Vitamin Sunshine: Not Just for Plants
As a native Californian, I get quite distraught when the sun goes away. Combine that with the time change this week and, watch out world! The sun is literally setting tonight at 4:43 PM. That’s just not right, y’all!
Okay, but all complaining aside...Vitamin D deficiency is a real thing. Low Vitamin D levels have been associated with a broad range of health concerns including: cardiovascular disease, depression, cognitive impairment, autoimmune disorders, asthma, cancer, diabetes, obesity and infertility.
In the world of Vitamin D and reproduction, early research was demonstrated in experiments with mice. Researchers found that mice who are are deficient in vitamin D showed underdevelopment of the uterus and inability to form mature eggs which resulted in infertility. In the mice who were able to fall pregnant, fetal development is impaired (1). All these insufficiencies were corrected with Vitamin D supplementation.
In humans, there are Vitamin D receptors all over ovaries, uterus and placenta. The active form of Vitamin D (calcitriol) is involved in the production of estrogen. In early pregnancy, calcitriol helps modulate immunity in the uterus to fight infections without harming the fetus. Later in pregnancy, low levels of Vitamin D are associated with gestational hypertension and diabetes. Studies of women undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF) indicate that populations with sufficient Vitamin D levels are more likely to achieve pregnancy.
A few things to keep in mind as we go into the winter months.
We get a significant amount of Vitamin D from the sun. As we wrap ourselves up and stay indoors to protect ourselves from the cold, we are also not getting enough sun exposure which can lead to a drop in your Vitamin D levels. Consider adding a Vitamin D supplement into your regimen.
Vitamin D works synergistically with Vitamin K so it is essential that if you use supplements, check to see if it has both in it.
Vitamin D is one of the overlooked subjects that we go over in your fertility audit. To get a full picture, give Acubalance Wellness Centre a call to set up a free 15-minute phone consultation with an acupuncturist who specializes in reproductive health.
Kathleen Lee B.S. MTCM, L.Ac. R.TCMP. FABORM