Vitamin D status may play an important in female fertility and reproduction, according to new research linking levels to regulation of ovarian hormones.
The study, published in Nutrients, underscores the hypothesis of a positive role for vitamin D in the fertility of women by suggesting it may be involved in the regulation of ovarian anti-Müllerian hormone levels.
Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) is an ovarian regulator whose function is largely unknown to science.
Research has shown that women with sufficient vitamin D intake are more likely to get pregnant.
This latest study proves a link between vitamin D and AMH, which marks a step towards better understanding AMH and the possible role of vitamin D in female reproduction.
However, the research was unable to reach a conclusion whether it was vitamin D and or AMH which had the impact on the women’s fertility.
The study was carried out by researchers at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
The criteria for the women: they must have regular menstrual cycles, not pregnant, had not breastfed with the past two months, not taken vitamin D supplements, not travelled to the northern hemisphere, nor used sunbeds.
In total, 49 women were recruited between the ages of 19 and 25.
The women took either a single capsule of vitamin D or a placebo during the week after onset of their menstrual bleeding. The changes in AMH levels were analysed.
The study found that a single oral dose of vitamin D produced an acute change in the serum levels of 25 (OH)D of young women, followed by a progressive rise in their serum AMH levels.
Findings support the theory that vitamin D’s positive effects on the fertility of women may involve the regulation of AMH levels.
However, the authors emphasised that further clinical studies are needed to determine the relevance of vitamin D regulation of AMH production to ovarian pathologies and to the fertility of women with depleted ovarian reserve.
Volume 9, issue 7. Published online doi:10.3390/nu9070719
“Acute Supplementation with High Dose Vitamin D3 Increases Serum Anti-Müllerian Hormone in Young Women”
Authors: Nicola Dennis, Lisa Houghton, Michael Pankhurst, Michelle Harper and Ian McLennan