According to the new study presented in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, investigators uncover that women who are using estrogen based contraceptives have higher amounts of circulating vitamin D; in the same way, women who stop taking these birth control pills face a major fall in vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D’s major role is to manage the appropriate calcium and phosphorous levels in the blood. It also assists the body to absorb calcium, a necessary element of bones.
Foods which include fish and eggs are high in vitamin D, however, about 90 % of vitamin D is produced in the skin via a chemical reaction after exposure to sunlight.
Vitamin D deficiency can result in rickets and osteomalacia (softening of the bones).
Because vitamin D is essential in the development of bones, it is especially significant during pregnancy.
Dr. Quaker E. Harmon, of the National Institute of Health, made the decision to research any modifications in vitamin D levels connected with taking oral contraceptives
Vitamin D and contraception
The investigators performed a cross-sectional analysis of data from the Study of Environment, Lifestyle, and Fibroids (SELF), a research of reproductive health. The project used nearly 1,700 African-American women living in and around Detroit, MI, aged 23-34.
The research asked women about their contraceptive use and provided concerns about the quantity of time they invested outside and any vitamin D supplements they took.
Overall, 1,662 women gave blood samples to find out levels of the most common circulating form of vitamin D, called 25-hydroxy vitamin D.
In pregnancy, women produce enhanced levels of the active type of vitamin D to support the development of the fetal skeleton. Because of this, pregnant women have an enhanced threat of vitamin D deficiency and, therefore, an increased risk of developing bone issues.
Dr. Quaker E. Harmon states that:
“Our research identified that women who were using contraception comprising estrogen tended to have greater vitamin D levels than other women.”
Even after controlling for confounding aspects, like seasonal subjection to light, the effect stayed important.
“We could not discover any behavioral variations like as enhanced time spent outdoors to describe the increase,” said Dr. Harmon. “Our results recommend that contraceptives containing estrogen usually boost vitamin D levels, and those levels are probably to fall when women cease using contraception.”
After modifications for confounding variables, the use of birth control pills, patches, or rings containing estrogen was connected with 20 % higher levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D.
Simultaneously, present users of birth control had greater levels of vitamin D, and past users had average vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D deficiency in early pregnancy
These results mean that, as a woman commences trying to become pregnant, she runs the risk of becoming deficient in vitamin D. Dr. Harmon adds some advice:
“For women who are planning to quit using birth control, it is worth taking steps to make sure that vitamin D levels are sufficient while trying to conceive and during pregnancy.”
Why estrogen-based contraception might affect vitamin D levels?
Answering to this Dr. Harmon said:
“We usually do not know why vitamin D levels are greater. Other work indicates that the levels of other vitamin D metabolites are modified when women use estrogen-containing contraception. This indicates that there may be modifications in the metabolism of vitamin D. Additional work is required.”
Whether race might be a factor in this effect?
Answering to this Dr. Harmon said:
“The same connection has been noticed in young and older women who are not African-American, so we consider this connection is not connected to race. In the United States, African-American women are more probably to be vitamin D-deficient, so small raises or reduces in their vitamin D concentrations may be more essential.”
Dr. Harmon also told that she is carrying on to follow this group of women to additionally investigate the connection. In addition, she is working on another group of individuals to examine how vitamin D varies throughout the menstrual cycle.