The Sunshine vitamin – more formally known as Vitamin D or calciferol – is responsible for increasing intestinal absorption of calcium, magnesium, and phosphate. Apart from that, it performs many other biological effects, ultimately ensuring our bone immunity, overall physical and mental health.
Rise in Vitamin D deficiency
A study in 2020 showed that nearly 76% Indians were suffering from Vitamin D deficiency, indicating that this public health problem is fast attaining epidemic proportions. Data also suggest that Vitamin D deficiency has been on the rise in the past two years due to limited outdoor activities and minimal exposure to sunlight in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.
How it impacts your fertility?
Latest studies done on the subject show Vitamin D is not only the basic requirement for musculoskeletal health but impacts a person’s fertility. In fact, a 2017 research, conducted by scholars from the University of Birmingham, showed that women with poor Vitamin D level were less likely to get pregnant after undergoing an assisted reproductive technique treatment. The research indicated that Vitamin D was important for success embryo implantation and development within the uterus.
Even though there is no conclusive evidence that firmly established this association, several studies indicate Vitamin D blood levels of 30 ng/mL or higher can improve chances of pregnancy. This is precisely why most fertility experts advise women starting IVF treatments to go on supplements and consume a diet rich in Vitamin D. In men, Vitamin D is linked to semen quality and sperm motility.
Poor Vitamin D levels during pregnancy is also associated with increased risk of preterm birth.
Vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with a number of fertility issues which include PCOS, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, abnormal sperm function. As far as the baby’s growth is concerned, Vitamin D is necessary for its normal bone health and immune function.
A woman with adequate Vitamin D is also less likely to face pregnancy complications such as fetal growth restriction, preterm labour, pregnancy-related hypertension and gestational diabetes.
What is Vitamin D?
A fat-soluble vitamin, Vitamin D is produced endogenously when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin, triggering vitamin D synthesis. Vitamin D is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement
Include the following in your diet:
Foods that have been fortified
Why maintaining adequate Vitamin D is still of utmost importance, nonetheless?
While ongoing research works are trying to establish a conclusive link between fertility and adequacy of Vitamin D, it makes perfect sense to maintain a healthy level of supply in your body to maintain overall health and wellbeing.