Women who are diagnosed with fibroids often ask, “What vitamins should I take for fibroids?” Or “What supplements get rid of fibroids?” Research on fibroid tumors and vitamin D has revealed a relationship between the two. If you have been diagnosed with fibroids and are looking for some holistic fibroid treatments, taking vitamin D supplements may help slow down your fibroid growth.
Vitamin D And Fibroids
The connection between fibroids and vitamin D has been properly researched and evaluated. Generally speaking, there are a number of risk factors for fibroids: African-American race, elevated body mass index (BMI), premenopausal status, and a family history of fibroids, just to name some of the most common. However, one that is often overlooked and easily remedied is low vitamin D.
While vitamin D is often grouped into the fat-soluble vitamin category, including vitamins A, E, K, and others, technically it is a prohormone. A prohormone is a substance that gets converted inside our body into an active substance that affects certain processes in our body – it becomes a hormone.
Where Do I Source Vitamin D For Fibroids?
Vitamin D is very important in building and maintaining adequate healthy bones through regulating calcium and phosphorus in our bodies. The best and purest source of vitamin D is the sun.
Vitamin D is produced from cholesterol in the skin with the help of sunlight (specifically UVB rays). Women of color have a more challenging time getting adequate vitamin D through exposure to the sun because of the pigment in their skin.
Vitamin D can also be found in certain foods, such as wild salmon, wild tuna, cod liver oil, eggs, sardines, etc., or can be taken in the form of supplements.
Can Vitamin D Shrink Fibroids?
While no one knows where fibroids come from, we do know what can make them grow. First and foremost, fibroids grow with hormone stimulation. (estrogen and progesterone) Estrogen and progesterone induce fibroid formation as well as growth. That is why fibroids often grow rapidly during pregnancy and why they are not typically an issue for women once they reach menopause.
Research has discovered a definite link between fibroid tumors and vitamin D. Maintaining sufficient levels of vitamin D can help reduce the risk of developing fibroids and decrease the severity of their symptoms. Vitamin D interferes with the process of fibroid cell division and replication, which helps keep fibroids from forming.
The active form of vitamin D has been shown to have powerful anti-estrogenic and anti-progesteronic effects by decreasing its receptors. Supplementing your intake of vitamin D can lead to fibroid shrinkage, so ensuring you are not deficient in this area is one easy safeguard for avoiding fibroids.
Insufficient Vitamin D Levels Can Impact Fibroids
When taking vitamin D for fibroids, it is important to first determine if you are deficient, and if so, the daily dose you will need to correct it. In an NIH study from 2013 of over 1,000 women, only 10% of African-American women and 50% of Caucasian women had sufficient vitamin D levels. Women with adequate vitamin D levels were much less likely to develop fibroids (Epidemiology, 2013). It is also possible that taking D vitamins would help to shrink fibroids and slow down their growth.
What Is The Recommended Daily Amount Of Vitamin D?
It is important to work with your doctor to ensure your vitamin D levels are where they should be, especially if you have been diagnosed with a fibroid tumor. Vitamin D is chemically converted in the liver and kidneys so the body can use it but there are some things that can render it less effective (certain medical conditions or medications, etc.). Working closely with your doctor or a registered dietician can help ensure you are eating the right foods as well as taking adequate supplements.
Women should get their vitamin D levels checked during their annual checkups, and if deficient, they should use a vitamin D supplement to raise levels to normal, especially if they need vitamin D for fibroids. The recommended dose is 400-800 IU per day for adults, although some claim 1000-4000 IU is needed to maintain adequate levels.
It is not recommended that individuals take more than 4000 IU per day of D vitamins to shrink fibroids without consulting their doctor due to the risk of toxicity.
If you are suffering from fibroids, make an appointment to see one of the nation’s leading fibroid experts, John C. Lipman, MD, founder and medical director of the Atlanta Fibroid Center by calling (770) 953-2600, or make an appointment online.