Background: The importance of vitamin D in general health as well as in human reproductive success has been an area of focus. A better understanding of vitamin D metabolism, particularly vitamin D binding protein, is important when elucidating this relationship.
Methods: This case control trial seeks to characterize vitamin D metabolism in infertile patients undergoing natural cycle IVF as compared to normally cycling premenopausal women with proven fertility matched for age and body mass index (BMI). A total of 68 subjects were examined; 39 were infertile premenopausal women and 29 were regularly cycling fertile controls. Their 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25OHD), vitamin D binding protein (DBP), and albumin were measured and free and bioavailable 25OHD calculated. Between group comparisons were conducted with an unpaired t-test. A stepwise regression using age, BMI, 25OHD, estradiol & albumin in the model were used to determine predictors of DBP.
Results: Age, BMI, and total 25OHD did not differ between the two groups. However, vitamin D binding protein, free and bioavailable vitamin D were significantly different in the infertile patients as compared to the regularly cycling fertile controls (p < 0.01). Stepwise Regression using age, BMI, 25OHD, estradiol & albumin in the model showed that only albumin was a predictor of DBP (β-coefficient - 0.310; p = 0.01).
Conclusion: The implications of lower vitamin D binding protein associated with infertility is not clear from this pilot study, and requires further study.
Keywords: Bioavailable vitamin D; Fertility; Menstrual cycle; Vitamin D binding protein.