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Women using oestrogen-based pills have better vitamin D levels: Study

According to a new study, women who use oestrogen-based contraceptives and birth-control pills have a better vitamin D count.

health and fitness Updated: Aug 06, 2016 11:50 IST
Oestrogen,Vitamin D,Contrceptives
As per a study, women having oestrogen-based birth control pills and contraceptives showed an improvement of almost 20% in their vitamin D levels.(Shutterstock)

If you have been using contraceptives and birth control pills containing oestrogen, the hormone responsible for sexual and reproductive development in women, then you are on the right track. A new study has shown that such women are likely to show an improvement in their vitamin D levels.

The findings, after adjusting for seasonal exposure to sunlight, showed that the use of contraceptive pills, patch or ring containing oestrogen was associated with a 20 per cent higher 25-hydroxy vitamin D level.

“The study found that women who were using contraception containing oestrogen tend to have higher Vitamin D levels,” said lead author, Quaker E Harmon from National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in North Carolina, US.

“On the other hand, such levels are likely to fall when they cease to use such contraceptives,” Harmon added.

Women who stop the use of contraceptives containing oestrogen may run the risk of developing Vitamin D deficiency just when they want to become pregnant, the researchers said in the work published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

“For women who are planning to stop using birth control, it is worth taking steps to ensure that vitamin D levels are adequate while trying to conceive and during pregnancy,” Harmon suggested.

Read: Increase vitamin D levels to cut kidney problems

Vitamin D levels are likely to fall when women cease to use such contraceptives, adds the study. (Shutterstock)

About 10 per cent of the body’s vitamin D supply comes from food, including fatty fish and milk fortified with the vitamin.

Read: Birth control pills could guard women against STIs

During pregnancy, women produce increased amounts of the active form of vitamin D to support formation of the foetal skeleton.

As a result, pregnant women face an increased risk of developing vitamin D deficiency, according to the Endocrine Society’s Clinical Practice Guideline on vitamin D deficiency.

For the study, the team conducted a data analysis of 1,662 African-American women between the ages of 23 and 34.

First Published: Aug 06, 2016 11:50 IST