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Information on the latest vitamin D news and research.

Find out more information on deficiency, supplementation, sun exposure, and how vitamin D relates to your health.

Will vitamin D help prevent uterine fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that originate from the smooth muscle layer of the uterus. Fibroids are the most common benign tumors in women and are usually found during the middle and later reproductive years. While most fibroids are asymptomatic, they can grow and cause heavy and painful menstruation, painful sexual intercourse, urinary frequency, and urinary urgency.

Globally, approximately 235 million people are affected with uterine fibroids. Up to 40% of all women will be diagnosed with fibroids at some point in their life but only a tiny fraction will require treatment. Fibroids are heavily dependent on estrogen and progesterone levels, so they shrink after menopause, female hormone levels go down.

Blacks are anywhere between 2-4 times more likely to get fibroids as Whites. The cost of fibroids exceeds $34 billion per year. A safe and effective oral treatment option for fibroids would have an immense impact on women’s health worldwide.

Doctor Mohamed Sabry and colleagues of Meharry Medical College in Tennessee working under senior author Ayman Al-Hendy of Meharry Medical College just published an important discovery. Uterine fibroids are associated with 25(OH)D levels.

Sabry M, Halder SK, Allah AS, Roshdy E, Rajaratnam V, Al-Hendy A. Serum vitamin D3 level inversely correlates with uterine fibroid volume in different ethnic groups: a cross-sectional observational study. Int J Womens Health. 2013;5:93-100.

The authors had previously shown that vitamin D shrinks fibroid cells in the test tube and that vitamin D safely shrink fibroids in a rat model.

Here, they studied 104 women with fibroids and 50 normal controls. This was a cross sectional study in which all women had their 25(OH)D levels measured and all women had a pelvic ultrasound.

The average level of serum 25(OH)D was lower in fibroid cases (19.7 ng/mL) than in healthy controls (22.3 ng/mL; P = 0.01). Black participants diagnosed with symptomatic fibroids had lower serum 25(OH)D (12.9 ng/mL) than Black healthy controls (18.30 ng/mL; P = 0.05). White participants diagnosed with fibroids had a trend toward lower levels (24.45 ng/mL) than White healthy controls (29.53 ng/ml; P = 0.052).

Also, the larger the fibroids, the lower the vitamin D levels (r = −0.31; P = 0.002). When grouped according to ethnicity, a significant association (r = −0.305; P = 0.001) was found between vitamin D levels and total fibroid volume in the Black participants. In the White participants, the inverse correlation trended towards  significant (r = −0.86; P = 0.058).

We need more studies, but if I was a woman with fibroids, I’d take 5,000 IU/day. Of course if I was a woman without fibroids, I’d take the same.

  About: John Cannell, MD

Dr. John Cannell is founder of the Vitamin D Council. He has written many peer-reviewed papers on vitamin D and speaks frequently across the United States on the subject. Dr. Cannell holds an M.D. and has served the medical field as a general practitioner, emergency physician, and psychiatrist.

5 Responses to Will vitamin D help prevent uterine fibroids?

  1. Rita and Misty says:

    Dear Readers,

    I can share that it is true (at least for me), that once 25(OH)D level is corrected fibroids will shrink. For me, I started to feel the benefits once my level reached 74 ng/ml.

    (I really am a very healthy person…well, at least now!)

    :)

  2. janbent@hansen.mail.dk says:

    It’s interesting that Iodine deficiency apparently can cause the same kind of uterine fibroids!
    I can imagine that Vitamin D and Iodine could work wonders together?

    I’m living in Denmark, and here neither of the two, would be seriously considered by a Doctor, it would be regarded as “Alternative treatment”, sad really :(

  3. Rita and Misty says:

    @Janbent,

    In addition to 28,000 iu d3 daily, I do take 50 mg of Iodoral daily.

    My guess is that a thyroid imbalance plays a large role in PCOS, uterine fibroids and fibrocystic breast disease. (at one time I had all 3 issues)

    Once the thyroid is running efficiency, then the other glands in the endocrine system will also run smoothly (this is only my guess…I am not a researcher or a physician..but, I sure would like to see research done on this subject.)

    Although the mainstream medical jury is still out regarding the benefits of vitamin d with respect to autoimmune thyroid disease, I tend to think maintaining optimal 25(OH)D levels of 50 ng/ml–80 n/ml will only help your thyroid. I think that Dr. Cannell also would agree.

    After all, studies already indicate the benefit of vitamin d with respect to other autoimmune diseases such as MS and SLE.

    Regarding Iodine…this is a controversial topic, I know. And often I scratch my head wondering if I’m taking too much.

    Currently, I go by how I feel, and how my endocrine system operates. This is the healthiest I’ve been in years.

    Best wishes,
    Rita Celone

  4. TClark says:

    Thank you all for the info. I’ve been following Dr. Cannels website for over a year and finally am able to join as a member. When first diagnosed my 25(OH)D level was severely low (17) I also have a thyroid disorder and uterine fibroids. I am extremely encouraged by this information as I truly want to avoid surgery. Looking forward to more research.

  5. Rita and Misty says:

    @tclark,

    try your best to keep your 25(OH)D level optimal: 50 ng/ml–80 ng/ml.

    The below links to an article you might find interesting.

    (I empathize with your heath situation…imo, be brave and take doses of d3 large enough to quickly raise you serum level…you only have your health to gain…again, imo)

    reach out to me if you’d like: either via FB, or umileritac@aol.com, or 203-785-6269 (9-4 ET).

    Be well!

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/257614.php