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Low Vitamin D Linked to Vaginal Infections

April 30th, 2009

Low vitamin D levels may increase the risk of bacterial vaginosis, a common vaginal infection linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes, suggests a new study.

In a study with 469 women participating in a pregnancy cohort study, vitamin D levels below 20 nmol/L were associated with a 34 percent increase in the prevalence of bacterial vaginosis, compared to women with vitamin D levels over 80 nmol/L.

According to researchers led by Lisa Bodnar,  from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, a potential protective effect of vitamin D may be due to the vitamin’s influence on the immune system.

The study adds to an ever growing body of science supporting the benefits of maintaining healthy vitamin D levels.

In adults, it is said vitamin D deficiency may precipitate or exacerbate osteopenia, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, fractures, common cancers, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases and cardiovascular diseases. There is also some evidence that the vitamin may reduce the incidence of several types of cancer and type-1 diabetes.

The new study represents the first report linking vitamin D status with the incidence of bacterial vaginosis.

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a highly prevalent vaginal infection that affects about 30 percent of women between the ages of 14 and 49. It is caused by changes to the normal chemical and biological balance of the vaginal microflora. While antibiotics are usually prescribed to treat the condition, there is evidence that probiotics may prevent the condition.

Bodnar and her co-workers examined the pelvises of 469 pregnant women before week 16 of their pregnancy. Blood samples allowed for the quantification of serum levels of 25- hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), the non-active ’storage’ form.

According to the Journal of Nutrition, 41 percent of all the women had BV, and 52 percent were classed as vitamin D deficient, equivalent to 25(OH)D levels below 37.5 nmol/L.

Women with BV were found to have a lower average 25(OH)D levels (29.5 nmol/L) compared to women free of BV (40.1 nmol/L), said the researchers. Looking at the same issue from another angle, 57 percent of women with low 25(OH)D levels lower than 20 nmol/L had BV, while BV was diagnosed in only 23 percent of women with a 25(OH)D levels over 80 nmol/L.

“Compared with a serum 25(OH)D concentration of 75 nmol/L, there were 1.65-fold and 1.26-fold increases in the prevalence of BV associated with a serum 25(OH)D concentration of 20 and 50 nmol/L, respectively,” wrote the researchers.

“Vitamin D deficiency is associated with BV and may contribute to the strong racial disparity in the prevalence of BV,” they concluded.

Sources:
Journal of Nutrition

“Maternal Vitamin D Deficiency Is Associated with Bacterial Vaginosis in the First Trimester of Pregnancy”
Authors: L.M. Bodnar, M.A. Krohn, H.N. Simhan
NutraIngredients
Stephen Daniells

The details on D

While our bodies do manufacture vitamin D on exposure to sunshine, the amount is so weak during the winter months that our body makes no vitamin D at all.

Read my articles, Why do Heart Attacks Spike in Winter and Breast Cancer Breakthrough, to learn more about the importance of vitamin D.

Dr. G

Heart Health, Women's Health , , , , , ,

  1. May 2nd, 2009 at 10:27 | #1

    OMG!!!! You have a BLOG!!!…..HI Wayne!!!….I have been out of touch…..I need to get back in!!! OMG, this is so exciting!!!

    I didn’t realize from your email that the “Asking you questions” part was a blog…..HEY…I think I need my Mind Power!!! lol :-)

  2. KrisBelucci
    June 2nd, 2009 at 05:54 | #2

    Great post! Just wanted to let you know you have a new subscriber- me!

  3. Dr G.
    June 2nd, 2009 at 12:34 | #3

    Thanks Kris,

    Vitamin D is truly “the miracle vitamin”, but it is actually a natural hormone in the body, manufactured from sunglight by the body. But as we get next to zero sunlight these days, we need supplementation.

    I will be posting more about Vitamin D when we launch my revolutionary MIRACLE OF LIFE formula in a few days.

  4. Kelly Brown
    June 12th, 2009 at 13:51 | #4

    Hi, very nice post. I have been wonder’n bout this issue, so thanks for posting

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