The Data On Vitamin D
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is the body’s main form of vitamin D. Vitamin D is mainly produced in the skin, though some foods contain types of vitamin D. With enough time in the sun, many people can produce a sufficient amount of vitamin D, but many people do not get enough sun exposure throughout the year. There are not many foods which contain vitamin D and those which do, such as egg yolk, beef liver, mackerel, and herring, only contain small amounts. For this reason, it’s difficult to get enough vitamin D from dietary sources, even those which are fortified.
There are other factors which also affect a woman’s vitamin D status. For example, women who are overweight or have dark skin can be at a greater risk of vitamin D deficiency than others. A woman with a vitamin D deficiency may have trouble trying to conceive. Some studies show that having sufficient levels of vitamin D improve the chances of becoming pregnant. Vitamin D blood levels of 30 ng/mL or higher are linked to higher conception rates.
Vitamin D and fertility treatment
Studies have shown that adequate levels of vitamin D have been linked to improved fertility in women going through assisted reproduction treatment (ART). Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to a higher risk of abnormal pregnancy implantation, fetal growth restriction, and preeclampsia. However, more research into pregnancy outcomes in ART is needed.
The importance of vitamin D during pregnancy
An adequate vitamin D level is not only important prior to conception, but it is also very important during pregnancy. Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy increases the risk of preterm birth, as well as bacterial vaginosis, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes. Doctors often recommend for a pregnant woman to take a daily vitamin D supplement of between 2,000 – 4,000 IU but this number varies and should be discussed with a healthcare provider before taking this amount of supplementation.
Not only does vitamin D help maintain healthy bones and teeth, but higher vitamin D levels have shown to protect against diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and some forms of cancer. Vitamin D also helps support the brain, nervous system, and immune system. Recently this vitamin has also been found to influence more than 200 genes.