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A WOMAN’S genetic heritage may determine whether vitamin D helps her to conceive through IVF.
The sunshine vitamin is known for its benefit to bone health, but it may also play a role in conception. In 2010, a study of mainly white women found that those with the highest levels of vitamin D were four times more likely to have successful IVF than those with the lowest levels.
To find out whether this held true for a wider sample, Briana Rudick at Columbia University Medical Center in New York and colleagues compared vitamin D levels and IVF success rates in 188 white and Asian women.
White women who had the recommended level of vitamin D were four times more likely to get pregnant than white women who were deficient in the vitamin. The reverse was true for Asian women – those with the lowest vitamin D levels were most likely to get pregnant (Human Reproduction, doi.org/h8c).
Rudick’s team says ethnic differences in the vitamin D receptor gene may be involved, but it’s too soon to start recommending vitamin D levels for Asian women during IVF.