Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Importance of diet in fertility treatment

There have been a few articles about the incidence of vitamin of D3 deficiency amongst peoples in UK and member of the Royal collage of GPs and Royal society of medicine have been urging both, the general public and professionals to look out for this deficiency. They blame the poor weather and the long winter for the problem.

Vit D3 - more than just good bones

Vitamin D3 is known to cause a plethora of problems ranging from rickets and osteomalacia to less obvious ones like low mood and even depression, malabsorption, depressed immunity etc. What is interesting is we have noticed a remarkable deficiency of Vitamin D3 in my Indian patients in Mumbai as well. What really worried me was to know that a  47 years old apparently healthy lady doctor colleague not only had very low vitamin D3 but also osteoporotic hair-line fractures of femur and spine. She had also developed proximal myopathy of her thigh muscles (painful muscles, severe pain whilst ,moving her leg) and other symptoms over a 6 month period.
diet during fertility treatment
Image from : freedigitalphotos.net

Vitamin D3 is a good marker of overall dietary problems because it has a complex metabolic pathway. It’s a fat soluble vitamin that is present mainly in animal sources like egg yolk, meat etc. and which needs to be processed in both liver and kidney before it becomes active and does its bone protection jobs. A good level of Vitamin D3 not just means good bones and good calcification but also suggests that your gut, your kidneys and your liver are all working well. Any nutrient that is dependent on so many factors is more likely than others to go wrong.

Role of Vit D3 in IVF

In our IVF program we are in particular careful about vitamin D3 levels because they are known to affect the quality of endometrium and possibly the rate of implantation of embryos.

The big paradox is Indians in sunny India seem to be suffering more than British women who have to bear with the terrible British weather which is better described as gruel than bad. A few main point is think may be the cause of this apparent paradox.

The British diet is perhaps more rich in animal source fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin D, A and K. a lot of vegetarian Indians will have to rely on milk as the only source of vitamin D. Now that we are weight concious, that source is also used less and less.

Indians have not just taken the sun for granted but seem too detest going out in the sun. A British like the other west and northern Europeans seem to love it and sun themselves at every opportunity. They may do it more for the tan than vitamin D but they benefit nevertheless. In India tan is a big taboo, and thus by association, the sun.

What’s most certainly all factor for Indians to suffer this vitamin D deficiency is that our modern affluent lifestyle has allowed us to keep away from the sun. I probably get more sun in London than Mumbai. I begin my day by driving in an air-conditioned car to my air-conditioned office and stay there most of the day until I leave for home late in the evening perhaps night. Any brief journey is timed carefully to avoid the sun and is done protected from the sun.

The fact of the matter is we need these vitamins to be healthy. Trying to get them in our daily food and through sun in the most natural way is the easiest, cheapest and the best way to get stay fit.