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03. 02. 12. - 16:34

Vitamin D linked to fertility

Austrian scientists have found a link between a lack of vitamin D and fertility.

Graz-based endocrinologist Barbara Obermayer-Pietsch and her colleague Elisabeth Lerchbaum compared data from several vitamin D studies and say there is a clear link between vitamin D and the production of testosterone and sperm quality.

She said that men who are given extra vitamin D produce more testosterone, whereas in contrast women who do not get enough vitamin D end up producing too much testosterone - a hormone that is produced by men in the testes and by women in the ovaries. Excess testosterone in women lowers their ability to conceive.

She says the role of vitamin D in human fertility should not be underestimated.

She said: "It may not be that controlling vitamin D is the ultimate answer to fertility problems but it could be a very cheap and simple solution at least in some cases."

A shortage of vitamin D has been linked to osteoporosis and diabetes. Vitamin D can be produced in the human body when exposed to sunlight, which is why levels often fall in winter.

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