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Bacterial Vaginosis Linked to Vitamin D Deficiency

By May 26, 2009

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Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is one of three common types of vaginitis which includes vaginal yeast infection and trichomoniasis, and the most common vaginal infection. Does that surprise you? If you're like many women, you may have thought that vaginal yeast infections are the most common vaginal infection.

New research, published in The Journal of Nutrition (June 2009) and reported in The New York Times, has found a link between low levels of Vitamin D and bacterial vaginosis. Previously known contributing factors in the development of BV have included hot weather, poor health, poor hygiene, use of an intrauterine device (IUD) for birth control, and routine vaginal douching, as well as the transference of E.coli from the rectum to the vagina during sexual intercourse.

According to The Times article, an analysis of 469 pregnant women, which included 209 white women and 260 black women, found that over half of the women had Vitamin D levels that were less that half of the generally accepted normal level of at least 80. Women whose Vitamin D levels were less than 37 were more than 50% more likely to have bacterial vaginosis. Significantly more black women had BV than white women with 52% of black women having the vaginal infection compared to only about 27% of white women who had the infection. It's thought this difference may occur because darker skin simply doesn't synthesize the Vitamin D provided by sunshine as well as lighter skin.

So, does this mean women should start supplementing their Vitamin D intake? Definitely not. Always talk to your doctor before you begin taking any supplements, as well as any herbs or other alternative treatments.

More: Bacterial Vaginosis FAQs
What Vaginal Itching Means and How To Relieve The Itch

Comments
May 26, 2009 at 10:16 pm
(1) Litza says:

Well, this is a good report and most important information you forgot to put in.
We do not need the Vitamin D supplements,however,
we can get good source of vitamin D while walking,
garden,,,doing any sport outside early in the mor-
ning or later in the afternoon,when the sun still
shines but it is less risk from get skin cancer.
The sun it is the best supplement to get vitamin
D.The pills does not work as well,and with deficien
cy of this vitamin it also affect our calcium in take that our bones need to keeping health for as
long as we need.
So,after taked a cold shower in the summer, get
free hair dry,while walking,a nice tan, good body,
and with all this keeping yourself healthy and all
this for free…No need money back,,,you feel great
and have a good night of sleeping too…

May 27, 2009 at 1:42 am
(2) Sandy r says:

Litza, Dermatologists recommend no more than 15 minutes in the sun without sunscreen, and this is not nearly enough to produce adequate Vitamin D.

The rate of melanoma and other skin cancers is rising dramatically and we need to use sunscreen daily, and not be out in the sun unprotected between 10 am and 2 pm.

New info indicated we need about 2000-5000 iu a day, many times more than the 400 iu in most multi-vitamins (which we all need daily, too)

Further, anyone north of a line drawn between La and Atlanta cannot get enough Vit D even from sun exposure.
We all need Vit D supplements.
Check with your family doc for all this new info.
Sandy R
medical educator

May 29, 2009 at 9:05 am
(3) Ted Murphy says:

I’d like a definitive answer on this before I pass on the information. How should women best eliminate a Vit D deficiency? Thanks.

May 29, 2009 at 1:49 pm
(4) Becky says:

We certainly DO need Vitamin D. Actually Vitamin D3 for our health, especially our bones. Calciuim is not enough and we cannot get enough Vit D from foods. The best source is from the sun— 15 minutes of sunlight.

June 18, 2009 at 5:05 am
(5) Annamarie says:

New research into Vitamin D is exactly as Sandy R stated. Being in the sun is NOT going to provide sufficient amount of this much needed vitamin – which most people are deficient in. Please keep up to date with the latest research and development in health and nutrition before giving advice. Misguidance can cause some serious health issues.

June 24, 2009 at 11:39 am
(6) rosewhite says:

About 46/7 years ago I got called a fool when I said that vetinawry researchers had said that the reason cats sit in the sun and ash themselves so much is to get Vitamin D and that as we are all descended from Adam and Eve it logically followed that we are intended to be naked as a matter of course and obviously benefit from the sunshine. This is why we all feel good when we are out on a nice day.
Incidentally under our skin we have a shole forest network of little collector/receptors…I forget the name but from their design I can’t help thinking that they are intended to absorb and feed into us something that is abundant in sunshine. Could those receptors be Vitamnin D production units?
It is unfortunate that for most of the people on earth our climate is too extreme to allow much fresh air and sun consumption.
And of course these days far too many people couchpotato all the time instead of getting out in the fresh air.
Vaginitis might indeed be simply cured by fresh air and sunshine as might so many other modern illnesses.

June 30, 2009 at 11:39 pm
(7) nique says:

This is very helpful information. Thank u for this knowlegde.

August 12, 2009 at 1:25 pm
(8) birdie752 says:

In July, 2008 I had my Vit D level checked and it was at 25.2 L. The reference range is 32 to 100 ng/mL with a notation that 32 is considered the lower limit as a threshold for optimal health. My endocrinologist told me that I should try to get more sun exposure as that would help bring up my level. I told her I walk my dog twice a day plus I work outside in my yard all the time. I felt I got enough sunshine so trying to get more didn’t seem to be the right idea. I did research on Vit D and what Sandyr says is on the right track. I started taking 1000 iu’s and brought my level up to 34.3. I then started on 2000 iu’s and my level went up to 40.6. I am now taking 4000 iu’s per day and my level this July (2009) is 58.0. So, in one year’s time my level went from 25.2 to 58. I am very pleased. I will continue taking 4000 iu’s from now on. I don’t think my level would have gone up this much just by trying to get more sunshine.

August 12, 2009 at 1:36 pm
(9) birdie752 says:

I should have mentioned that you really need to get your blood level measured before you start adding Vit D to know whether or not you are deficient. But adding 1000 iu’s a day to your diet won’t hurt because most people don’t get enough as it is.

October 21, 2009 at 3:32 am
(10) Dio says:

I asked my doc to test my level and she absolutely refused. I had the swine flu and got a secondary lung infection. Since I have chronic yeast infections, I cannot go on any more antibiotics so I take 10 000IU of vit D3 right now until I am better. I wish I wasn’t going into it blindly like I am. Maybe now if I tell my doc what I am doing to myself she will bother to test my levels ;) Anyway, according to Dr. Mercola, it is the angle of sunlight that makes the difference, and the further north you go, the less likely you are to get the right rays to make adequate vit D3. If you are in the right place to do so, just a half an hour in the sun is good enough, 15min won’t do it. And the reason you can get a burn and then cancer is dependent on your antioxidant status. Many people are terribly deficient in those, and the free radicals produced run amok in your body and cause cancer. Antioxidants bind up the free radicals and neutralize them, keeping cancer at bay, at least in when it comes to sun exposure. I am not sure about the rest, but it must be helpful with other cancers as well.

November 20, 2009 at 4:10 pm
(11) Gloria says:

I’ve had continuios yeast infections and contacted my ob-gyn doctor. He is a supplement gyru. He started me on 10,000 units per day plus I am to have
a vit d level again in 3 months. I feel so much better with no Yeast infection.

February 15, 2010 at 11:09 pm
(12) Sarah says:

I have suffered from BV for years and since I have started taking at least 4000IU of viatmin D per day, my problems have completely vanished. Within 2 days!!! It has been 6 moths as well and no recurrence. In addition to this, I never feel run down like I often would, and have not gotten a flu in the winter for the first time that I can ever remember in my life!

Unfortunately most physicians will only prescribe antibiotics, which only make matters worse, and they often refuse to consider other more natural and effective treatments.

Before any one goes and disrupts their bodies with unnecessary antibiotics and medications, I urge you to take 2000-4000IU of vitamin D per day and get your vitamin D levels checked with your physician.

March 24, 2011 at 9:46 am
(13) Erika says:

I have been dealing with this curse four YEARS. I have tried everything naturally at home to persrcibed meds! I take 1 Acidiophilius and 1 vitamin D 2000IU daily, and as Sarah above, gone in 2 days! I bare witness! (I will up to 4000IU). ❀(◠‿◠)

April 21, 2011 at 12:08 pm
(14) Carisa says:

The sun does not cause cancer.

If that were true, melanoma rates would not be rising ONLY amongst indoor workers who almost never see the sun without spackling on the SPF 30 block and a wide brimmed hat. These people are only exposed to UVA rays (which are harmful and do not stimulate the production of vitamin D) that come in through the window glass of buildings. The helpful UVB rays (which cannot penetrate glass) cannot reach their skin and stimulate the production of vitamin D. That’s why melanoma rates are skyrocketing. We are all stuck indoors, chronically exposed to UVA which damages us and getting very little UVB, which mitigates the cancer-causing effects of UVA by stimulating hte production of vitamin D in the body.

Additionally, if the sun was a cancer ray-gun, we would have seen some evidence of scores of our ancestors dying from melanoma because they were all out in the sun unprotected for extended periods of time.

The sun is what causes your body to generate vitamin D, which is natural protection against cancer and a natural boost to the immune system. This is why vitamin D helps with BV. Your immune system is stronger when you get D from the source you were meant to receive it from; the sun.

Food and supplemental sources cannot compare. Now go outside and get some D!

November 5, 2011 at 7:13 pm
(15) a2631049 says:

I’ve said that least 2631049 times. The problem this like that is they are just too compilcated for the average bird, if you know what I mean

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