Foggy Berkeley and the Crazy Vitamin D Epidemic
I wonder if this Vitamin D epidemic is happening in other states and countries. Here in Berkeley, we get fog year round and our summers are the worst. In the summer, the sun doesn’t peek through the fog until 2pm every day, otherwise it’s grey, grey and more grey. Is this contributing to the low vitamin D epidemic? I don’t know, but somehow I don’t think so. Since I’ve been testing patient’s Vitamin D levels at Tao to Wellness, my guess is that 85% of them come back low and half of those are dangerously low. It’s remarkable.
Why do we care?
Vitamin D is important for immunity, ovarian reserve, weight management, can decrease the incidence of MS and Rheumatoid Arthritis and aids in the breakdown of Calcium and Phosphorus for bone density.
Here’s a trial that took place in Canada recently.
Effect of vitamin D status on clinical pregnancy rates following in vitro fertilization
Background Recent studies suggest that vitamin D may play a role in human reproduction. Our goal was to investigate whether vitamin D levels are predictive of implantation and clinical pregnancy rates in infertile women following in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Methods We prospectively evaluated vitamin D status, as determined by serum 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25[OH]D) levels, in a cohort of 173 women undergoing IVF at Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario. Serum 25(OH)D samples were collected within 1 week before oocyte retrieval. We classified patients as having sufficient (≥ 75 nmol/L) or insufficient (or deficient; hereafter referred to as “insufficient”; < 75 nmol/L) serum levels of 25(OH)D. We compared patient demographics and IVF cycle parameters between groups. The primary outcome measure was clinical pregnancy (intrauterine sac visible on ultrasound performed 4–5 weeks after embryo transfer).
Results Of the included women, 54.9% had insufficient 25(OH)D levels and 45.1% had sufficient levels. Women with sufficient levels had significantly higher rates of clinical pregnancy per IVF cycle started (52.5%) compared with women with insufficient levels (34.7%; p < 0.001). Implantation rates were also higher in the sufficient 25(OH)D group, but the results were not statistically significant. Multivariable logistic regression analysis (adjusted for age, body mass index and day 5 [v. day 3] embryo transfer) showed that serum 25(OH)D level may be a predictor of clinical pregnancy (adjusted odds ratio 1.01, 95% confidence interval 1.00–1.03).
Interpretation Our findings suggest that women with sufficient levels of vitamin D are significantly more likely to achieve clinical pregnancy following IVF. Vitamin D supplementation could provide an easy and cost-effective way of improving pregnancy rates; this merits further investigation. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, no.
So, what to do?
First test your Vitamin D, D3 to be exact. We can order this lab for you if you can’t get into to see your doctor. The cost through LabCorp is around $40.00.
Then you’ll need to supplement, around 2,000 IU’s are safe to take for a two-three months, then retest. For patients with dangerously low D, you can go up to 5000 IU’s, but remember Vitamin D is fat soluble, so it gets stored in the body. You don’t want to take high levels for long term.
By Christina Martin, acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist specializing in fertility in Berkeley at Tao to Wellness