What is Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin used with calcium and phosphorus to make strong bones. It comes in two forms. D2 in the form of sunlight and D3 which is primarily produced in animal cells such as sardines, salmon, mackerel.
Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency is common in the UK, probably due to lifestyle changes and lack of sun exposure. If you have severely low vitamin D levels, you are unable to maintain an adequate concentration of calcium in your blood for bone growth. This causes rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. As the role of vitamin D as a regulator of other functions throughout the body has emerged, it has been suggested that a lack of vitamin D is linked to an inability to fight infections effectively, muscle weakness, fatigue and the development of diabetes, certain cancers, multiple sclerosis, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke, although the direct relevance and mechanisms underlying these responses remain unknown.
Adequate exposure to sunlight is important, especially between April and October, for around 15 minutes daily.
Vitamin D and Fertility
- Improves sperm quality
- Assists in the production of AMH therefore improves egg quality
- Improves reproductive health
- Enhances immune system, thereby helping lower risk of problems with implantation or miscarriages
- Reduces risk of pre-eclampsia, premature delivery and pregnancy complications
- Improves mothers general health during pregnancy, thus reducing need for medication which would lead to further implications
- Virtually eliminates type 1 diabetes
- Decreased risk of infections, asthma, eczema in newborns
- Decreases risk of mother having vaginal infections
- Reduces risk of autism
- Plays an important role in immune modulation for mother and baby
Vitamin D test
I would recommend that all of my patients check their Vitamin D levels and then if found inadequate to supplement. This can be easily arranged via Birmingham NHS and done by a finger prick test.
Vitamin D Supplementation
If you are found to be deficient I would recommend taking a Vitamin D3 supplement which has the K2 attached. Vitamin D3 ensures that calcium is absorbed easily and K2 (MK-7) activates the protein, osteocalcin, which integrates calcium into bone. Without D3 and K2, calcium cannot do its job effectively.