In the Journals

Vitamin D deficiency linked to reduced pregnancy rates

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August 18, 2014

Recent data published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggest that women with deficient levels of vitamin D are less likely to conceive through in vitro fertilization compared with women with sufficient levels.

“Our work is the largest study to date to examine how vitamin D affects fertility in women who are undergoing [in vitro fertilization],” Alessio Paffoni, MSc, of the Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico in Italy, said in a press release. “We found that women who had sufficient levels of vitamin D were more likely to produce high-quality embryos and more likely to become pregnant than women who were deficient in vitamin D.”

Alessio Paffoni

Alessio Paffoni

Paffoni and colleagues evaluated 154 women who were vitamin D deficient (<20 ng/mL) and 181 women with sufficient vitamin D levels (≥20 ng/mL) to determine the effect of levels on fertility.

Researchers found that participants with sufficient levels of vitamin D were more likely to become pregnant compared with vitamin D deficient participants (OR=1.85; 95% CI, 1.11-3.08). Participants with sufficient levels produced top-quality embryos, and researchers said they believe that vitamin D levels are linked to the quality of eggs in the ovaries.

Participants were also divided into deficient, insufficient (21 ng/mL-29 ng/mL) and sufficient (≥30 ng/mL) levels of vitamin D groups, and researchers found increasing rates of pregnancy with increasing levels.

“Although randomized clinical trials are needed to confirm the findings, our results certainly suggest that low levels of vitamin D contribute to infertility,” Paffoni said. “Since vitamin D supplementation is an inexpensive and simple intervention with few relevant side effects, additional study in this area has the potential to markedly influence the way infertility is treated.”

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.