Vitamins to Shrink Fibroids
Do They Work?
If you have recently been diagnosed with fibroids, you now face a number of choices around how to best manage them. Many women look to vitamins, herbs, home remedies, and other alternative treatment methods that might help to shrink fibroids, but are they effective?
The Fibroid Specialists at ProFibroidMD took a deep dive into the current state of vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K and if there is research relating them to shrinking fibroids. What we found is that most vitamins have minimal to no known effect on fibroids, but one vitamin in particular (vitamin D) may be effective in preventing fibroid growth and even shrinking fibroids in some women.
If you are thinking about incorporating vitamin supplements into your daily routine, be sure to talk with your doctor before you begin.
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Vitamin A and Fibroids
In relation to fibroids, vitamin A is thought to have a therapeutic effect on cell signal transduction, cell proliferation control, extracellular matrix formation control, tumor growth control, and fibrosis .
Importantly, there are only two studies that have investigated the effects of vitamin A on uterine fibroid development in humans, and neither is particularly strong. In one study of 887 women aged 20 to 49 (Wise 2011), levels of vitamin A in the blood serum were analyzed alongside uterine fibroid status in self-reported questionnaires. The researchers identified that greater vitamin A levels were significantly associated with lower uterine fibroid burden . In another study of 22,583 premenopausal women (Martin 2011), vitamin A obtained from diet was found to inversely correlate with uterine fibroid occurrence. In other words, women that were ingesting more dietary vitamin A were less likely to have uterine fibroids. The authors concluded that the risk of uterine fibroids was lower among women with a greater dietary intake of fruit and preformed vitamin A (from animal sources) .
To conclude, taking vitamin A supplements or ingesting more foods rich in vitamin A may help to prevent fibroids, but the evidence is by no means conclusive.
Vitamin B and Fibroids
B vitamins are organic compounds that act as coenzymes, helping a variety of enzymes throughout the body do their jobs. B vitamins assist with many basic functions, ranging from releasing energy from carbohydrates and fat to breaking down amino acids and transporting oxygen and energy-containing nutrients around the body.
For B vitamins and fibroids, vitamin B has been hypothesized to have a therapeutic effect on inflammation and oncogenesis, but data is very limited, and these speculations are not supported by any human studies. Therefore, it seems that B vitamins themselves do not play a considerable role in uterine fibroid biology, and therapeutic potential is quite limited .
Vitamin C and Fibroids
In relation to fibroids, vitamin C has been hypothesized to have a therapeutic effect on cell differentiation control and dysregulation of vitamin C metabolism in individuals with MED12 mutations. It also has antioxidant effects .
We mentioned the Wise 2011 study and the Martin 2011 in our discussion of vitamin A, and these same studies looked at the relationship between vitamin C and fibroids. In contrast to the findings for vitamin A, a significant relationship was not observed for vitamin C in either study [2,3]. These reports suggest that vitamin C has minimal effect on uterine fibroid development. Even with these findings, current evidence is insufficient to conclude in favor or against vitamin C as a potential therapeutic.
Vitamin D for Fibroids
In relation to fibroids, vitamin D is thought to have a therapeutic effect on cell signal transduction, cell proliferation control, extracellular matrix formation control, tumor growth control, and fibrosis . The relationship between vitamin D deficiency and uterine fibroids has been clearly established through a number of studies, and a growing body of evidence has shown that vitamin D supplements can have a direct effect on uterine fibroids.
Can Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Uterine Fibroids?
Vitamin D Supplements for Fibroids
Vitamin D supplements 25-OH-D3 were tested in one study of 108 women with “small burden” uterine fibroids, meaning that the women in this study had less than 5 fibroids, each less than 50 mm in diameter, and did not have severe fibroid symptoms that required immediate medical attention. The study found that women who did not take vitamin D supplements experienced an average fibroid volume growth of 40% in one year of follow-up, whereas women that regularly took vitamin D supplements experienced no fibroid growth during the same timeframe .
The authors of a second study prescribed vitamin D for 10 weeks to 35 patients with uterine fibroids and vitamin D deficiency. The results showed that fibroid size decreased significantly compared to a placebo group . A third study tested high-dose vitamin D in a randomized clinical trial for 12 weeks. Although the treatment in this study did not shrink the fibroids, it did stop them from growing while the placebo groups’ fibroids continued to increase in size .
Taken together, these findings are actually quite promising, especially for women that are vitamin D deficient. Despite these positive findings, the data is insufficient to label vitamin D as a reliable cure for uterine fibroids or fibroid symptoms. It appears to have a beneficial effect in some women, especially as a preventative dietary measure, but more study is required to fully understand its efficacy.
Vitamin E and Fibroids
As for human studies on vitamin E, the Wise 2011 and Martin 2011 studies also looked at the correlation between vitamin E and uterine fibroid development. As with Vitamin C, neither study identified a relationship between vitamin E and uterine fibroids. However, a study by Ciebiera published in 2018 did demonstrate a correlation between elevated concentrations of a vitamin E vitamer (α-tocopherol) in the blood serum and fibroid occurrence in Caucasian women . It’s important to note that this was a small study, and even with this finding, the influence of vitamin E on uterine fibroids remains unclear .
Vitamin K and Fibroids
Literature on the direct relationship between vitamin K and uterine fibroids is extremely sparse. Some scientific authors have suggested that vitamin K could have an anti-inflammatory effect and an antifibrotic effect, but these are loose hypotheses at best given the paucity of data. Taking into account what we know currently, it appears that the influence of vitamin K on uterine fibroids is negligible .
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 Ciebiera, M.; Ali, M.; Zgliczyńska, M.; Skrzypczak, M.; Al-Hendy, A. Vitamins and Uterine Fibroids: Current Data on Pathophysiology and Possible Clinical Relevance. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 5528.
 Martin, C.L.; Huber, L.R.; Thompson, M.E.; Racine, E.F. Serum micronutrient concentrations and risk of uterine fibroids. J. Womens Health 2011, 20, 915–922.
 Wise, L.A.; Radin, R.G.; Palmer, J.R.; Kumanyika, S.K.; Boggs, D.A.; Rosenberg, L. Intake of fruit, vegetables, and carotenoids in relation to risk of uterine leiomyomata. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2011, 94, 1620–1631.
 Ciavattini, A., Delli Carpini, G., Serri, M., Vignini, A., Sabbatinelli, J., Tozzi, A., … Clemente, N. (2016). Hypovitaminosis D and “small burden” uterine fibroids. Medicine, 95(52), e5698.
 Hajhashemi, M.; Ansari, M.; Haghollahi, F.; Eslami, B. The effect of vitamin D supplementation on the size of uterine leiomyoma in women with vitamin D deficiency. Caspian J. Intern. Med. 2019, 10, 125–131
 Arjeh, S.; Darsareh, F.; Asl, Z.A.; Kutenaei, M.A. Effect of oral consumption of vitamin D on uterine fibroids: A randomized clinical trial. Complement. Ther. Clin. Pract. 2020, 39, 101159.
 Azzi, A. Many tocopherols, one vitamin E. Mol. Asp. Med. 2018, 61, 92–103.