vitamin D to get pregnant

Vitamin D must not be too low in those who are trying to get pregnant. Image courtesy arthur84 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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How vitamin D can improve egg quality

If you are waiting longer to get pregnant, there are several things you can do to maximize your chances of conceiving. One simple and inexpensive option is to make sure you have enough vitamin D.

Vitamin D is a substance our bodies naturally produce following sun exposure, so getting outside in the sunshine is a great way to help boost your fertility.

Vitamin D deficiency has reached epidemic status in Western societies and has been linked to increased risk of cancer, osteoporosis, and decreased chances to get pregnant.

A 2010 study led by Dr. Lubna Pal from Yale University, published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, found that vitamin D blood level was a better predictor of pregnancy success following in vitro fertilization than any other conventionally-used prognostic parameter. For women undergoing fertility treatments, this means that your IVF may fail just because your body is vitamin D deficient, even if everything else is in good shape. Dr. Pal suggests measuring vitamin D as part of a routine infertility workup because “appropriate supplementation of those depleted in vitamin D may translate to an improved fertility outcome as well as improved overall health.”

The good news is that increasing your levels of vitamin D is easy! You can jump-start your body’s natural vitamin D production by spending time outside in the sunshine, or you can take supplements. Better yet, combining both methods will ensure you are getting enough.

 

vitamin D helps improve egg quality

Women used to spend much more time outside in the past. Image courtesy sura_nualpradid at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How much vitamin D to get pregnant and for how long?

So how much vitamin D (from a supplement like this, for example) does a woman trying to get pregnant need?

Given that our bodies are physiologically adapted to function with far more vitamin D than what our lifestyle generally enables us to produce, it is uncommon and difficult to have too much. It is almost impossible to overdose on vitamin D.

This is so important that I will say it again: it is almost impossible to overdose on vitamin D. It is much easier to slip into the deficiency range and expose yourself to an increased risk of illness, as well as harm your chances of getting pregnant. In terms of vitamin D supplementation, the benefits of supplementing far exceed the risks of overdosing—a rare situation in the world of nutrient supplements!

The reason that I stand behind this bold statement is that I’ve spent many years in vitamin D research and know quite a bit about it (please follow the references below).

 

My favorite vitamin D supplements (5000 I.U., 2000 I.U.) and books:

Vitamin D3 5000 IU Pills by Vita Optimum - Best Natural Organic Olive Oil (360 softgels) - Made in USA               NOW Foods Vitamin D-3, Structural Support 2000 I.U., 240 Softgels               The Miraculous Results Of Extremely High Doses Of The Sunshine Hormone Vitamin D3 My Experiment With Huge Doses Of D3 From 25,000 To 50,000 To 100,000 Iu A Day Over A 1 Year Period               The Vitamin D Solution: A 3-Step Strategy to Cure Our Most Common Health Problems

 

There is anecdotal evidence of rare but serious cases of vitamin D overdosing, such as babies who got injections of several hundred thousand units of vitamin D on a single day or adults who took supplements of a few million units accidentally. Even in these cases, however, the consequences were mild. Apart from minor issues which were typically stabilized the very same day, no major health consequences were reported.

That being said, I want to add that humans are biochemically individual and the unexpected can happen, with vitamin D as with anything else.There are no safe substances, only safe doses. As always, benefits need to outweigh risks.

In terms of our current global vitamin D deficiency, it makes simple sense to restore our vitamin D levels to those that better match our evolutionary roots, our genetics, and our metabolism.

 

egg quality can be improved

Improving quality of your eggs is your responsibility. Image courtesy digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Which vitamin D level is best when trying to get pregnant?

To answer this question, let’s take a quick look at the most important functions of vitamin D.

The main role of vitamin D is to help us extract calcium from our food. The level of vitamin D at which absorption of dietary calcium from the intestine is maximized, is 50 ng/mL.

Similarly, the vitamin D level found to best optimize bone and muscle health, protect against cancer, and contribute to other health benefits in women is 40 ng/mL.

Along these lines, we can assume that a woman wishing to maximize her fertility as well as general health should aim to maintain a 40-50 ng/mL blood level of vitamin D.

 

How to take vitamin D supplements to get pregnant faster?

So how much vitamin D should YOU take?

Like in many other issues related to health, the answer is quite individual and there is no dose which fits all.

In the case of vitamin D, it depends on your skin color, the amount of time spent in the sunshine, the latitude of the place where you live, and the season (due to the shifting angle of the sun over the year).

All of these factors influence how much vitamin D human bodies can make on their own. So if you have darker skin, cover most of your body with clothing, live in the north, or simply spend most of your time indoors, you are at an especially high risk for vitamin D deficiency and your chances to get pregnant could benefit greatly from boosting your vitamin D levels.

As a general rule, most women will probably need to supplement about 2000 IU daily to ensure they are not deficient.

Fine tuning should be done in collaboration with your doctor. It is a good idea to test your vitamin D level initially, try a given dose of supplementation, and then re-test your vitamin D level after several months to see if that dose is enough for you. Testing a few times a year is the best way to make sure you are consistently optimizing your vitamin D level.

Being a big fan of living as close to the nature as possible, I believe it is best to supplement with vitamin D only in the winter. In the summer, you can simply spend more time outside.

Of course, use common sense when spending time outdoors, especially at midday. Protect your skin and make sure not to allow it to burn!

 

My favorite vitamin D supplements (5000 I.U., 2000 I.U.) and books:

Vitamin D3 5000 IU Pills by Vita Optimum - Best Natural Organic Olive Oil (360 softgels) - Made in USA               NOW Foods Vitamin D-3, Structural Support 2000 I.U., 240 Softgels               The Miraculous Results Of Extremely High Doses Of The Sunshine Hormone Vitamin D3 My Experiment With Huge Doses Of D3 From 25,000 To 50,000 To 100,000 Iu A Day Over A 1 Year Period               The Vitamin D Solution: A 3-Step Strategy to Cure Our Most Common Health Problems

 

 

Recent scientific reports on vitamin D and fertility:

Holick MF. Evidence-based D-bate on health benefits of vitamin D revisited.Dermatoendocrinol. 2012 Apr 1;4(2):183-90.

Lerchbaum E, Obermayer-Pietsch B. Vitamin D and fertility: a systematic review. Eur J Endocrinol. 2012 May;166(5):765-7.

Ozkan S, Jindal S, Greenseid K, Shu J, Zeitlian G, Hickmon C, Pal L. Replete vitamin D stores predict reproductive success following in vitro fertilization. Fertil Steril. 2010 Sep;94(4):1314-9.

Reinhold Vieth. Why the optimal requirement for Vitamin D3 is probably much higher than what is officially recommended for adults. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 89–90 (2004) 575–579.

Rudick B, Ingles S, Chung K, Stanczyk F, Paulson R, Bendikson K. Characterizing the influence of vitamin D levels on IVF outcomes. Hum Reprod. 2012 Nov;27(11):3321-7.

Souberbielle JC, Body JJ, Lappe JM, Plebani M, Shoenfeld Y, Wang TJ, Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Cavalier E, Ebeling PR, Fardellone P, Gandini S, Gruson D, Guérin AP, Heickendorff L, Hollis BW, Ish-Shalom S, Jean G, von Landenberg P, Largura A, Olsson T, Pierrot-Deseilligny C, Pilz S, Tincani A, Valcour A, Zittermann A. Vitamin D and musculoskeletal health, cardiovascular disease, autoimmunity and cancer: Recommendations for clinical practice. Autoimmun Rev. 2010 Sep;9(11):709-15.