Vitamin D And PCOS
There has been a lot of controversy about sun-tanning over recent years and as a result, many women make it a practice to stay out of the sun. However, the scientific community is waking up to the benefits of vitamin D (a vitamin which can be obtained from the sun’s rays, and to the fact that many women-particularly women with PCOS-suffer from a vitamin D deficiency.
A Daily Does Of The Sunshine Vitamin Works Wonders
The Sunshine Vitamin, so called because the best place to obtain it is from being in the sun and absorbing it through the skin, may play an important role in the health of women with polycystic ovarian syndrome. Optimal Vitamin D levels are important for improved fertility, weight control, liver health, reducing insulin resistance and avoiding pancreas exhaustion. It helps to prevent bone loss and osteoporosis and improves breast health. Everyone knows a dose of sunshine goes miles in helping with a good mental outlook and cognitive performance. The health of the gastrointestinal tract and nervous system benefit from vitamin D as well.
The Link Between Vitamin D Deficiency And PCOS
It appears that vitamin D deficiency occurs frequently in women with PCOS and could be a contributing factor to some of the biochemical abnormalities which are seen in the condition. Women who have been treated with vitamin D for PCOS have experienced normalization of their menstrual cycles and some have conceived.
Low vitamin D levels have been linked to insulin resistance and obesity. For women with PCOS, this is important news because the heavier a woman is, and the more insulin resistant she is, then the more likely it is that the levels of vitamin D are too low.
Metabolic Syndrome, PCOS And Vitamin D
Vitamin D affects the metabolism of blood sugar and may possibly prevent diabetes and metabolic syndrome, disorders associated with insulin resistance. People with Type 2 diabetes commonly have a vitamin D deficiency and supplementation with the vitamin has been reported to improve glucose tolerance, insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity in diabetes. Metabolic syndrome-which is characterized by heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure, elevated triglyceride levels, low HDL (good) cholesterol and abdominal obesity-shares many of the attributes of PCOS. Women with PCOS are more likely to develop diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Vitamin D Deficiency Affects Many People, Especially In Northern Latitudes
Nearly 40 percent of the population of the U.S. suffers from vitamin D deficiency. It is present in only a few foods, such as oily fish (salmon, mackerel, and sardines), cod-liver oil and vitamin D fortified dairy products. Vitamin D is produced in the skin after exposure to sunlight. People who don’t go into the sun risk having vitamin D deficiency.
Adequate levels of vitamin D can be achieved by daily exposure of the hands, face and arms to sunlight for ten to fifteen minutes. If you are unable to obtain sunlight exposure, vitamin D supplementation is advised. People living in northern latitudes or cloudy climates, and those who stay indoors most of the time, should consider a supplement. Those who are fully clothed or use sunscreen when they go outdoors or are vegans should also use a vitamin D supplement to ensure they are keeping their vitamin D levels high enough.