~ More Evidence For Protective Role Of Vitamin D Against Development Of Uterine Fibroids
July 8, 2013. Close on the heels of a U.S. study published in May of this year which found an association between reduced vitamin D levels and a greater risk of uterine fibroids, a study of Italian women published online on July 3, 2013 in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism has uncovered a similar finding.
Uterine fibroids or leiomyomas are benign tumors that develop in or around the uterus which occur in a significant number of women. Although the majority of cases do not require treatment, the condition can result in pain, bleeding, urinary frequency and other complications that can necessitate removal of the fibroids or, in some cases, the entire uterus.
“Recent in vitro and in vivo experimental evidence supports a role of vitamin D insufficiency as an important factor in the development of uterine leiomyomas,” note Alessio Paffno of Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico and his colleagues. “However, epidemiological data supporting this possibility are scanty.”
The current study age-matched each of a group of 128 women with at least one fibroid detected by ultrasound examination with two control subjects who did not have the condition. Among women with fibroids, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels averaged 10 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL), in comparison with 20.8 ng/mL in the control group. Vitamin D deficiency, defined as serum levels lower than 10 ng/mL, occurred in 15% of women with fibroids and in 7% of the controls, resulting in a 2.4 times greater risk of fibroids experienced by deficient women.
“Vitamin D is an emerging regulator of uterine leiomyoma development,” the authors conclude. “Cohort and interventional studies are pressingly needed to confirm a causal relationship and to investigate the potential therapeutic benefits of vitamin D supplementation.”
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