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Vitamin D and PCOS – Everything Essential You Need To Know

3 Mins read

Working on fixing your PCOS symptoms? You might want to consider adding vitamin D supplements to your diet

Not having sufficient amounts of vitamin D can affect most systems in the body. Recent studies show that a Vitamin D deficiency is the link between insulin resistance and PCOS. Many women who struggle with infertility have an underlying condition called PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). Studies now show that women who have PCOS may also have low levels of vitamin D, a crucial component needed to conceive, by fixing your vitamin D levels, it is possible for you to greatly improve your PCOS symptoms.

What is vitamin D and why do we need it?

Here’s a fun fact about vitamin D – it is not only a vitamin synthesized by our body but it also acts as a hormone. This means that cells in the body have vitamin D receptors on them. The liver and kidneys convert vitamin D produced in the skin and taken up in the diet, into the active hormone, which is called calcitriol. Vitamin D is required for the regulation of the minerals calcium and phosphorus found in the body. It also plays an important role in maintaining proper bone structure.

Sun exposure is an easy, reliable way for most people to get vitamin D. Exposure of the hands, face, arms, and legs to sunlight two to three times a week for about one-fourth of the time it would take to develop a mild sunburn will cause the skin to produce enough vitamin D. The necessary exposure time varies with age, skin type, season, time of day, etc.

Vitamin D is essential for our metabolic health and overall well-being. It has the following functions in our body – 

  • immune functioning
  • calcium absorption
  • bone health
  • menstrual cycles
  • insulin secretion

Are you be deficient?

These are a few symptoms to look out for if you have Vitamin D deficiency –

  • Getting sick or infected often
  • Fatigue
  • Low energy levels
  • Bone and Back Pain
  • Impaired Wound Healing
  • Hair Loss
  • Muscle Pain

Fortunately, a vitamin D deficiency is usually easy to fix. Eat more foods rich in Vitamin D such as fish, mushrooms, egg yolk, and orange juice to name a few. Also, remember to soak in the sunshine – Vitamin D is synthesized in the body with early morning sunlight!

Vitamin D and PCOS – What is the connection?

Here is how vitamin D supplementation may help with PCOS –

  1. Improves Fertility – Vitamin D has been shown to play a role in egg quality, development, and overall fertility. A study showed that infertile PCOS women had improvements in menstrual regularity after 3 months of supplementation. Also, Vitamin D helps to stimulate more mature follicles and increase pregnancy rates.
  2. Better Mood – Women with PCOS have been shown to suffer more from depression than those without the condition. A study found that vitamin D deficiency was a significant independent predictor of depression in both women with and without PCOS.
  3. Improves Metabolic Markers – Research shows an inverse relationship between vitamin D and metabolic risk factors such as insulin resistance, cholesterol, triglycerides, testosterone, and weight. A clinical trial saw improvements when overweight women with PCOS who were vitamin D deficient took vitamin D supplementation for eight weeks and saw improvements in insulin, triglycerides, and cholesterol levels. Studies found that supplementing with vitamin D and calcium for 3 months significantly reduced testosterone and blood pressure in women with PCOS.

If you think you may have a deficiency, it’s important that you speak to your doctor and get your blood levels measured. The most accurate way to measure vitamin D levels is the 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test. (20 – 50 ng/mL = adequate ; less than 12 ng/mL = deficiency)

The optimal amount of vitamin D for women with PCOS is unknown. The daily recommended intake for is 600 IU each day, but this may not be sufficient for women with PCOS.

Fixing your deficiency is simple, easy and can have big benefits for your health and PCOS symptoms.


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