PCOS And Vitamin D

In the past couple of decades spending time in the sun has been discouraged with the warning that it will cause skin cancer. While too much of a good thing can be problematic in many causes, not having enough exposure to the sun can create many needless health challenges. Insufficient Vitamin D has been implicated in osteoporosis, infertility, and weight control. It is also an important factor in dealing with PCOS.

The sunshine vitamin is best taken in through exposure to the sun as opposed to taking the vitamin in pill or liquid form. Of course, if a person lives in the Northern hemisphere where winters are long and the sun isn’t shining every day, then supplementation may be necessary. However, the best way is direct exposure on the hands, arms, chest, and face for as little as fifteen minutes a day. It is amazing how quickly one can receive a full load of this vitally important vitamin in so short a time.

Vitamin D deficiency has been noted to appear frequently in cases of women with PCOS, and may be a contributing factor to some of the biochemical problems women with this syndrome encounter. In a small study of women with PCOS more than 75 percent of the women who had irregular or non-existent menstrual periods regained normalization of their cycles after the administration of Vitamin D.

It has been clearly established that low Vitamin D levels are linked to obesity and insulin resistance, both of which are common effects of PCOS. This is important information for women with PCOS because it indicates that the heavier a woman is, and the more insulin resistant she is, the more likely she is suffering with Vitamin D deficiency.

Women with PCOS are also at much higher risk for diabetes, which is an insulin driven disease. Vitamin D affects the metabolism of sugar in the blood and as a result, it may possibly be preventative in cases of insulin resistance disorders such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Research indicates that people with Type 2 diabetes often are Vitamin D deficient. When supplemented, their glucose tolerance improves, as does insulin secretion and sensitivity. Metabolic syndrome, which has many symptoms in common with PCOS is managed well with Vitamin D. Women who suffer with PCOS are more prone to diabetes and heart disease than those without the syndrome.

The big surprise is that more than 40 percent of the American population suffers with Vitamin D deficiency. The vitamin is present in only a few foods, such as oily fish (mackerel, salmon, and sardines), cod-liver oil, and fortified dairy products. It is produced in the skin of people who expose themselves to sunlight, and people who don’t go out into the sun often have a Vitamin D deficiency. People who avoid the sun, or who cover themselves entirely before heading outside, should consider using a Vitamin D supplement to ensure they are getting enough of this important vitamin.

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