The most important role that vitamin D plays is to keep the bones in our body strong and healthy as it helps the body absorb calcium. Although recently, how the deficiency of vitamin D affects a human’s overall health has been brought to light, through research. Vitamin D doesn’t affect just the cells in the bone, it also affects different types of cells found in our body. Basically, vitamin D can control the death or the growth of a cell.
Vitamin D comprises a group of steroid hormones, that help absorb essential nutrients such as phosphate, iron, zinc and calcium from the intestine. Dairy products such as cheese and milk consist of vitamin D, although the sun is the best source for it. It is synthesized from the cholesterol present in the sunlight absorbed by the skin.
Vitamin D is produced in our skin due to sun exposure and fortified foods. Recent studies on animals have shown that vitamin D affects fertility in mammals as well. Certain infertility treatment and IVF specialists said that the occurrence of implantation can be predicted using vitamin D. Achieving a pregnancy in IVF treatment is also possible with the help of vitamin D. The quality of the embryo and its successful implantation is also enhanced when the level of vitamin D is sufficient in a woman.
Studies suggest that for women with sufficient level of vitamin D, the chances of them conceiving during their IVF cycle are double as compared to women who have a vitamin D deficiency. Studies have also shown that for women who were exposed to sunlight a month before their IVF cycle started, the birth rate improved.
The uterus, placenta and the ovaries consist of receptors for vitamin D. A deficiency of this can be associated with gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and intrauterine fetal growth retardation. It is also involved in the production of estrogen and implantation when bound to its receptor.
Further studies need to be conducted to come to a conclusion about how vitamin D supplementation can contribute to IVF treatments, but there is certainly a link between the two aspects. Meanwhile, you should not overlook other factors such as lifestyle and health changes that you should make, for a healthy and successful pregnancy. You shouldn’t rush to get vitamin D supplements until its effects are known completely. An overdose of vitamin D could lead to an excessive buildup of calcium in the body, which could weaken the bones and cause damage to the kidneys and the heart. Speak to your doctor before you start taking any vitamins or supplements.
Further research is required in this area, but if the results prove to be positive and beneficial, the chances of undergoing an IVF cycle successfully could increase and it would be a simple, inexpensive approach. Meanwhile, you can increase vitamin D intake by having foods such as dairy products, egg yolk, fish and oranges. The best source of vitamin D is exposure to sunlight but beware of over-exposure.