Vitamin D is necessary for reproductive functions of the male rat

J Nutr. 1989 May;119(5):741-4. doi: 10.1093/jn/119.5.741.


The effect of vitamin D deficiency on the fertility and reproductive capacity of male rats was investigated. Male weanling rats were fed vitamin D-deficient or vitamin D-replete diets until maturity, and mated to age-matched, vitamin D-replete females. Vitamin D-deficient males were capable of reproduction. However, successful matings, i.e., presence of sperm in the vaginal tract of the female, by vitamin D-deficient males were reduced by 45% when compared to matings by vitamin D-replete males. Fertility (successful pregnancies in sperm-positive females) was reduced by 73% in litters from vitamin D-deficient male inseminations when compared to litters from females inseminated by vitamin D-replete males. These results demonstrate that vitamin D and its metabolites are necessary for normal reproductive functions in the male rat.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Fertility / drug effects
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Rats / blood
  • Rats / physiology*
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Reproduction / drug effects*
  • Vitamin D / pharmacology*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / physiopathology


  • Vitamin D