Vitamin D in Male and Female Reproduction

  • Anindita NandiEmail author
Part of the Contemporary Endocrinology book series (COE)


Vitamin D has traditionally been known for its role in calcium metabolism and bone formation. However, recent literature has suggested a broader scope of function for this steroid hormone. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with increased prevalence in a variety of disorders. In this review, we focus on the potential role of vitamin D in both male and female reproductive function. Evaluation of expression patterns of vitamin D-binding protein (VDR) suggests a role for vitamin D action in both peripheral and central organs of reproduction. Co-localization of VDR with its metabolizing enzymes in these tissues suggests local modulation to effect organ-specific actions of this hormone. In vitro and in vivo studies in animal models have suggested a pathophysiological basis for VDR-mediated alteration of gene expression patterns. Human studies have linked vitamin D deficiency to abnormalities in reproduction such as hypogonadism, infertility, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and leiomyoma. However, clinical trials looking at replacement of vitamin D in ameliorating these conditions have shown variable results. The effects of vitamin D on male and female reproduction may be direct actions or may act indirectly via alterations of intermediate pathways such as calcium homeostasis, estrogen signaling, metabolic dysregulation, or immune modulation.


Vitamin D regulation Female reproduction Male reproduction 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Icahn School of Medicine, Graduate School of Biomedical SciencesNew YorkUSA

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