Lots of people come to our fertility clinic asking us about vitamin D. Here is a little known piece of information for you. vitamin D is not really a vitamin at all. It is actually a hormone! To be classified as a vitamin, a nutrient has to have an essential compound that the body cannot manufacture and so has to acquire from food. Whilst some foods contain small amounts of vitamin D, around 90% of it is produced in our skin following exposure to sunlight.
Vitamin D is known as an immune modulator in that it helps to balance the immune system. Deficiencies in vitamin D have been implicated in many autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, insulin-dependant diabetes mellitus, and inflammatory bowel disease and vitamin D regulated the T helper cells and decreases the Th1 driven autoimmune response.
Research has also found that vitamin D helps to promote the suppressor Th2 cells that help the body maintain a pregnancy. By effectively making mice deficient in vitamin D they can actually make them infertile. There has also been some research looking at IVF outcomes and Vit D deficiency which is particularity relevant for non-Hispanic white women. Our best advice? When the English sun shines – get out and about in it as much as you can!