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Higher Vitamin D Levels May be Good For More Than Your Bones

by | June 21st, 2010

A Recent study from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) reported in the April issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology suggest Higher vitamin D levels are linked to a lower risk for female pelvic floor disorders. Female Pelvic Floor Disorders, or Pelvic Organ Prolapse, (Dropping of the Uterus, Vaginal, Urinary Bladder and/or Rectum) affects approximately one in three women over the age of 45.

“Because vitamin D receptors are present in human muscle tissue, a direct effect of vitamin D on muscle physiology is biologically plausible,” write Samuel S. Badalian, MD, PhD, and Paula F. Rosenbaum, PhD, from SUNY Upstate Medical University and St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center in Syracuse, New York. “Thus, it is not surprising that vitamin D deficiency has long been clinically associated with impaired muscle strength and loss of muscle mass. Given that vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency is epidemic among adults, it is plausible that low vitamin D status contributes to the development of poor muscle strength and can lead to different pelvic floor disorders such as urinary/fecal incontinence and POP [pelvic organ prolapse].”

In the study nearly one quarter (23%) of women reported 1 or more pelvic floor disorders, and regardless of age, these women had significantly lower mean vitamin D levels. With increasing vitamin D levels, risks for 1 or more pelvic floor disorders were significantly decreased in all women at least 20 years old. This led the authors to conclude, “Higher vitamin D levels are associated with a decreased risk of pelvic floor disorders in all women at least 20 years old.” Furthermore, “The vitamin D association was strongest among older women reporting urinary incontinence in the NHANES survey. The pattern was similar for fecal incontinence although not significant.”

J. Kyle Mathews, MD

Plano OB Gyn Associates

Plano Urogynecology Associates

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Category: News & Education, Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery & Urogynecology |


Dr. J. Kyle Mathews is an expert in the field of Urogynecology, minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic surgery, and reconstructive gynecologic surgery. Dr. Mathews is board certified and a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as the American College of Surgeons. With over two decades of experience, Dr. Mathews is one of the most experienced surgeons in north Texas.

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