This isn’t all entirely news, but what you may not know is that Vitamin D is extremely important when you are planning to have a child. The relevance of Vitamin D in reproduction isn’t necessarily the first factor you think about when you’re planning to have a child, but it should be. Vitamin D is important for bone health, but is also important for healthy reproduction.
I published an article about my research on the relevance of vitamin D in reproduction in 2012. I discovered that men are much more likely to have healthier sperm concentration, motility and morphology with healthy levels of Vitamin D compared to men with a deficiency of the nutrient. Vitamin D also showed to be linked to sperm maturation, overall testicular function.
Vitamin D is also extremely important for women and their pregnancy. Women who may be having issues with their fertility will find that having healthy levels of vitamin D will increase their ovarian follicular fluid levels. Why is this important? When follicular fluid levels are higher, there’s a higher success rate for pregnancy for women after receiving their embryo transfer. There’s also a direct association with women’s vitamin D levels and the outcome of their IVF cycles.
Women suffering from PCOS will find that the absorption of vitamin D has a therapeutic effect on their condition. While I am not able to tell you that vitamin D deficiencies are the absolute contributors to the pathogenesis of PCOS and excess body mass, it has been shown that women with PCOS who went under a dietary supplementation of vitamin D improved their insulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance, obesity, inflammation and dyslipidemia are all well associated in the setting of vitamin D insufficiency.
On the average, you consume between 800 and 1000mg of vitamin D every day will give you healthy levels in your system. There are a number of foods that are rich in vitamin D: a serving of Cod Liver Oil in the morning with boiled egg and avocado, Portobello mushrooms, a handful of almonds, or even caviar when you want to treat yourself are just a few ways.
For those of us that are fortunate enough to live in climates where we are regularly able to spend a little time in the sun (with a little sunscreen, of course) we likely get enough. However, more than 35% of Americans have been reported to suffer from a vitamin D deficiency, and sun exposure isn’t the only way our bodies receive it. Your diet plays a major part in how this important nutrient is absorbed in our system.
I, along with my team at Neway wants you to become the healthiest you can be and I encourage you to talk to your physician. If you have any further questions about how vitamin D plays a part in your every day health call us at (212) 750-3330 or you can tweet me directly: @drjanelleluk.
Dr. Janelle Luk has devoted her career to the field of reproductive endocrinology and specializes in creating individualized fertility treatments for her patients at Neway Fertility, New York, NY. She draws on her vast expertise in both traditional and alternative IVF treatments to cater to the unique needs of each individual woman. With a focus on women who are having trouble conceiving or experiencing reproductive endocrine disorders, she uses both traditional and alternative approaches for treatment.
Follow Janelle on Twitter @DrJanelleLuk
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