Data published in Biology of Reproduction indicated that a dose of vitamin D equivalent to 1,400 international units (IU) per day was associated with a shrinking in uterine fibroids of about 75%, compared to lab animals that didn’t receive the vitamin.
“The study results provide a promising new lead in the search for a non-surgical treatment for fibroids that doesn’t affect fertility,” said Louis De Paolo, PhD, chief of the Reproductive Sciences Branch of the NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which funded the study.
Fibroids grow within and around the wall of the uterus, and 30% of women 25 to 44 years of age report fibroid-related symptoms, such as lower back pain, heavy vaginal bleeding or painful menstrual periods.
The condition is also are associated with infertility and such pregnancy complications as miscarriage or preterm labor. The economic cost of fibroids to the United States is estimated to be over $34 billion a year, according to a recent analysis by NIH scientists.
First author Sunil Halder, PhD, of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, added that additional research is needed to confirm the potential benefits of vitamin D for women with uterine fibroids.
“But it is also an essential nutrient for the health of muscle, bone and the immune system, and it is important for everyone to receive an adequate amount of the vitamin.”
Uterine fibroids, the most common noncancerous tumors in women of childbearing age, may be shrunk by vitamin D, suggests new data from a rat study funded by the National Institutes of Health.