Women who get sufficient vitamin D is approximately one-third less likely to develop fibroids in the wall of the uterus, according to a U.S. study published in the journal Epidemiology. This study is the first to relate uterine fibroids to the level of vitamin D.
Researchers from the National Institute of Environmental and Health Sciences (NIEHS) at George Washington University recruited 1,036 women aged 35-49 years of which 620 was colored and 416 was white. The women had their blood levels of vitamin D measured and and they also stated how much sun they got during the day. Fibroids were detected using ultrasound device.
The study showed that only 10% of the colored women and 50% of the whites had a vitamin D level above 20 ng/mL (52 nmol/L ), which is considered sufficient. Women with vitamin D levels of >20 ng /ml had a 32% reduced risk of fibroids. Moreover, it emerged that those who reported spending more than an hour a day outdoors , had 40% reduced risk of fibroids compared to those who spent less time in the Sun.
Fibroids in the uterus
Fibroids (leiomyomas) are benign tumors, which develop in the uterine wall. They are very common and can occur as a single fibroma , but often there are many in the same uterus. The most common symptoms of fibroids are pain and bleeding, which can lead to anemia. Fibroids can cause women to have their uterus surgical removed. We know that fibroids are hormonally related, yet the factors that stimulates their growth are largely unknown.
In the body active vitamin D is able to inhibit cell growth and production of fibrous tissue in the uterus and has been shown to reduce the size of fibroids in rats.
A versatile vitamin
Good scientific practice requires further studies in order to confirm this result, but for women everywhere in the world, there has long been ample evidence of the usefulness of optimizing the body's vitamin D levels. During the past decade, researchers have been able to show that sufficient vitamin D does far more than that regulate the body's calcium balance and bone health. It reduces the risk of dying from all causes, it protects against cardiovascular disease, colon and breast cancer and possibly other cancers, autoimmune diseases, infections, and pregnancy problems.
Baird DD, et al. Vitamin D and the Risk of Uterine Fibroids. Epidemiology. 2013;24(3):447-53.