By Melody Simanian
Many believe that Vitamin D serves as a daily multivitamin, the kind we take in the AM in the gummy form, but there's much more to it. Vitamin D is a hormone which plays a significant role in women with PCOS. It is a necessity to the human body. Without it, we open a Pandora’s box of health conditions including osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes and more. For women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), Vitamin D plays an even larger role in their overall health and fertility.
Science has proven that something as simple as Vitamin D deficiency, contributes to insulin resistance, inflammation, and psychological distress in women with PCOS. These adverse effects can lead to an increased risk for long term complications of PCOS, Type II Diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Now let’s go back to our high school Biology class. Chapter 8: The Female Reproductive System. At the cellular level, a cell within the ovary is known as an oocyte. Each oocyte contains hundreds of vitamin D receptors. Without an adequate amount of Vitamin D, the oocytes within the ovaries are unable to mature and develop at their full potential, leading to fertility complications.
Studies have shown that women with PCOS who have a Vitamin D deficiency have a more difficult time trying to conceive. Who would have known that with just one simple supplementation of Vitamin D, women are able to increase their chances of becoming pregnant? Hold on, it gets even better! Infertile women with PCOS and Vitamin D deficiency who underwent fertility treatments, were found to have more mature follicles increasing their likelihood of pregnancy.
Given that women with PCOS battle with hormonal imbalances, including an increased amount of testosterone, otherwise known as “androgens,” studies have also found a decrease in the amount of testosterone in women with PCOS who supplement with an adequate intake of Vitamin D.
To find the right Vitamin D supplement, you should look for D3 specifically and take at least a 2500 IU dose daily. You can also increase Vitamin D in your diet from foods such as cod liver oil, swordfish, canned tuna fish, orange juice, milk, yogurt, sardines, eggs and much more.
If you have been diagnosed with PCOS, this is your reminder to check your Vitamin D levels. Make it a priority on your to do list! With just a sufficient daily dose of Vitamin D, the complications of pregnancy can be exceedingly improved.