About this Research Topic
Vitamin D research has advanced remarkably over the past two decades, after the discovery of a myriad of additional non-classical and non-skeletal functions that include supporting the immune system. It is an important factor, not only in calcium metabolism and homeostasis, but also in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer; especially breast and prostate, osteoporosis, auto-immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression. Vitamin D is important for supporting women’s health throughout the lifespan. Severe vitamin D deficiency can occur in young women, including those who are pregnant, with the risk of this increasing with age.
The role of vitamin D in women’s reproductive health and pregnancy is also taking new dimensions as more research studies are demonstrating a protective and beneficial effect in female reproductive physiology. Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent among women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Several cross-sectional observational studies had demonstrated a plausible association between low vitamin D status and menstrual dysfunction, infertility, hirsutism, obesity, and insulin resistance in women with PCOS.
During pregnancy, the placenta becomes the main site for extrarenal activation of vitamins. Throughout gestation, this incurs adverse outcomes for fetal bone health since the transplacental passage of maternal 25-OH vitamin D3 is the only source of vitamin D in the developing fetus. Therefore, infants who are born to vitamin D-deficient mothers will be also deficient and hence will require supplementation. Vitamin D supplementation to pregnant and nursing mothers is imperative for preventing rickets. In addition, there may be an association with low vitamin D and higher rate of preeclampsia, preterm birth, bacterial vaginosis, and gestational diabetes.
Despite its discovery more than 100 years ago, vitamin D from sunlight has emerged as one of the most controversial nutrients of the current century. This Research Topic highlights the pivotal role for vitamin D in female health throughout lifespan; from wellbeing to reproduction and beyond with an objective aim to highlight recent changes and milestones so far in the field. Several studies have concluded opposing results and randomized clinical trials could be very informative in resolving the debate about the role of vitamin D in women's health.
Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
-Vitamin D and immunity in pregnancy/neonates;
-Vitamin D and women’s mental health;
-Vitamin D deficiency and maternal bone health and nutritional rickets;
-Vitamin D deficiency and osteoporosis;
-Vitamin D and maternal/neonatal mental health;
-Updates regarding vitamin D clinical guidelines for pregnancy and neonates;
-Knowledge/perceptions/attitudes of women towards Vitamin D supplementation;
-Genotyping and gene specific polymorphisms in relation to pregnancy/neonatal specific conditions;
-Observational studies examining Vitamin D association with pregnancy-specific complications and adverse outcomes like gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, vaginosis, and autism;
-Vitamin D and weight management and obesity for women and mothers;
-Vitamin D and breast cancer/ovarian cancer/uterine cancer.
Keywords: Vitamin D, reproduction, health, women, vitamin D deficiency, pregnancy
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.