Did you know that in northern countries, which have dark, cold winters, couples are less likely to conceive during the winter, whereas conception rates peak in the summer?There are a number of reasons why this association exists, but new research highlights vitamin D as one of the most important variable.
Vitamin D, a steroid hormone that influences virtually every cell in your body and has been positively linked to health conditions ranging from cancer to heart disease, may significantly boost fertility in both men and women.
Women with a vitamin D deficiency were nearly half as likely to conceive through in vitro fertilization (IVF) as women who had sufficient levels of the vitamin, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).
Long known for its role in bone health, vitamin D is a steroid hormone that is emerging as a factor in fertility. Animal studies have shown that the hormone, which is produced in the skin as a result of sun exposure as well as absorbed from some fortified foods, affects fertility in many mammals.
To examine vitamin D in human fertility, Italian researchers studied women undergoing IVF, a type of assisted reproductive technology. More than 1 percent of all infants born in the United States each year are conceived using assisted reproductive technology, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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This is an imperative step for anyone planning a pregnancy, not only for increasing the rate of conception but also for the benefits it offers during pregnancy. Vitamin D deficiency is currently at epidemic proportions in the United States and many other regions around the world, largely because people do not spend enough time in the sun to facilitate this important process of vitamin D production.
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