May 23, 2009

Study links female infection to vitamin D

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh say they have linked a common female infection, bacterial vaginosis, to vitamin D deficiency.

The study found that black women are more likely to become infected because they are more likely to be deficient in vitamin D, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Saturday.

Researchers tested 469 pregnant women for vitamin D levels. They found women with low levels of the vitamin were more likely to be infected.

About one-third of women in their child-bearing years are infected with bacterial vaginosis, said Lisa Bodnar, an assistant professor of epidemiology, gynecology and obstetrics. The disease is associated with premature delivery.

For many women, bacterial vaginosis is just a nuisance. But the infection can make women more susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases.

Vitamin D deficiency is more common in blacks because they absorb less from sunlight and are more likely to be lactose intolerant.