Monday, September 3, 2012
A woman's race may determine whether vitamin D helps her to conceive through IVF
The sunshine vitamin is famed for its benefit to bones and the immune system, but it also plays a role in conception. Now, evidence suggests that the vitamin's benefits may only apply to certain racial groups – while white women can boost their IVF success rates with vitamin D, the opposite appears to be true for Asian women. Researchers have found that white women who were vitamin D replete were four times more likely to have a successful pregnancy than women of the same race who were deficient in the vitamin. Surprisingly, the reverse was true for Asian women – those with the lowest vitamin D levels were most likely to get pregnant. Researchers aren't sure why the difference exists, but they think it might have something to do with the enzyme that deactivates vitamin D. There are also ethnic differences in the gene for the vitamin D receptor, which may affect the link between vitamin D and conception.