Sunny D-lites & PCOS
Vitamin D, commonly referred to as the sunshine vitamin, is a fat-soluble vitamin but it is also a steroid hormone. A recent study found that women with PCOS have lower levels of Vitamin D compared to non-PCOS women and that this deficiency is associated with a greater incidence of insulin resistance and high cholesterol (Krul-Poel et al., 2018).
Furthermore, some have suggested that Vitamin D may play a role in the prevention of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (Grimnes et al., 2010). A recent meta-analysis highlights the increased prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Impaired Glucose Tolerance in those with PCOS (Kakoly et al., 2018).
I had my own level of serum Vitamin D tested and discovered I was in fact deficient. You need to know if you are deficient BEFORE any supplementation as too much Vitamin D is said to be toxic. I find that using a spray version of Vitamin D3 is best as it is quickly and easily absorbed into the body and keeps my levels optimal.
Dietary sources of Vitamin D that I use include cod liver oil, Salmon (preferably wild-caught not farmed), mackerel, tuna, sardines, and egg yolks from free range chickens. Everyone’s baseline Vitamin D serum level differs so dosage has to be personalised therefore you must speak to your healthcare provider.
Vitamin D plays numerous roles in maintaining health and as you can see may have an important role in PCOS!
Grimnes, G., Emaus, N., Joakimsen, R. M., Figenschau, Y., Jenssen, T., Njølstad, I., … Jorde, R. (2010). Baseline serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations in the Tromsø Study 1994-95 and risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus during 11 years of follow-up. Diabetic Medicine, 27(10), 1107–1115. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1464-5491.2010.03092.x
Kakoly, N. S., Khomami, M. B., Joham, A. E., Cooray, S. D., Misso, M. L., Norman, R. J., … Moran, L. J. (2018). Ethnicity, obesity and the prevalence of impaired glucose tolerance and type 2 diabetes in PCOS: a systematic review and meta-regression. Human Reproduction Update, 24(4), 455–467. https://doi.org/10.1093/humupd/dmy007
Krul-Poel, Y. H. M., Koenders, P. P., Steegers-Theunissen, R. P., Ten Boekel, E., Ter Wee, M. M., Louwers, Y., … Simsekid, S. (2018). Vitamin D and metabolic disturbances in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): A cross-sectional study. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0204748