Reporting Dr. Maria Simbra
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Fibroids are very common. Vitamin D deficiency is also very common.
“Twenty five to 50 percent of women have fibroids,” says Dr. Bejamin Peticca, an OBGYN at Forbes Regional Hospital. “Living in the northeast, there’s less sunlight, and our patients are usually deficient in vitamin D.”
According to a study from the National Institute of Health, women with adequate vitamin D levels were one-third less likely to develop fibroids compared to those with a deficiency.
Fibroids are benign growths in the uterus. They can cause pain and heavy bleeding.
More than 1,000 women ages 35 to 49 living in Washington D.C. in the late 1990s were screened with ultrasound for fibroids.
Their blood was also checked for vitamin D levels. With low levels, these smooth muscle growths were more likely.
“We know that vitamin D is good for muscles. It keeps your muscles healthy,” explains Dr. Peticca.
A similar pattern has also been noted in animal studies.
“They did give vitamin D to animals who had fibroids, and it did lower fibroids. It made them shrink,” he adds. “When they found it in the laboratory, they wanted to see if it correlates to humans.”
The NIH study can’t show cause and effect, but points to an association that needs to be investigated further.
“I don’t think we can jump to any strong conclusions. Vitamin D is good for bones. If it’s good for fibroids, that’s great. too,” says Dr. Peticca