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Vitamins to Shrink Fibroids

Do They Work?

Woman taking vitamins to shrink fibroids

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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Fibroid Specialist Dr. Michael Lalezarian

Fibroid Relief Without Surgery in Los Angeles

ProFibroidMD is a leading provider of uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), the least invasive treatment option for uterine fibroid symptom relief. Our Fibroid Specialists have helped countless women overcome their fibroids and get back to their happy, healthy selves without going through a major surgery.

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Vitamin A and Fibroids

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays numerous roles throughout the human body. It is involved in the process of vision, cellular differentiation, gene expression, immunity, and bone development. It is also involved in the epithelial function of the skin, digestive tract, and the respiratory system. Vitamin A is known to have both antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. Vitamin A deficiency can cause visual disorders, disrupted skin function, and make you more susceptible to infections.

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 [1].

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 [2]. 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) [3].

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.

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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 [1].

Vitamin C and Fibroids

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is well-known for its abundance in fruits and vegetables. It can be consumed as a nutritional supplement in many different forms, including tablets, capsules, and drinks. Vitamin C offers antioxidant activity and enzymatic reaction regulation, and is also involved in tissue repair and immune system function.

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 [1].

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.

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Vitamin D for Fibroids

Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble steroid compounds. Vitamin D is most known for its role in calcium-phosphate metabolism, which is essential in maintaining skeletal structure and function. Importantly, vitamin D also performs the functions of a prohormone. Vitamin D1 (calciferol) is most commonly found in fish oils, vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) occurs in plants, and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is produced in the skin [1].

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 [1]. 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 deficiency is currently viewed as a potential risk factor for uterine fibroids. Lower levels of vitamin D in blood serum have been correlated with a higher likelihood of uterine fibroid occurrence, a higher likelihood of having symptomatic fibroids, and a higher total fibroid volume in the uterus. In fact, having insufficient vitamin D levels is estimated to increase your risk of fibroids by 32%. According to epidemiological studies, vitamin D deficiency is particularly common in African American women, with as many as 80% of them in the United States having deficient levels of vitamin D. With this relationship, it’s unsurprising that uterine fibroids are also considerably more prevalent in African American women than in other ethnicities [1].

Vitamin D Supplements for Fibroids

Unlike the other vitamins in this list, Vitamin D supplements have been prescribed to women with fibroids in clinical studies. Researchers have been hoping to find that vitamin D can prevent fibroids, stop fibroid growth, or even cause fibroids to shrink.

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 [4].

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 [5]. 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 [6].

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

Vitamin E is a group of fat-soluble organic chemical compounds that are found naturally in biological membranes. In relation to fibroids, vitamin E is an antioxidant and a pytoestrogen, which could potentially have anti-tumor development and anti-growth properties [1].

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 [7]. 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 [1].

Vitamin K and Fibroids

Vitamin K is a group of organic chemical compounds, including vitamin K1 (phylloquinone), vitamin K2 (menaquinone), and synthetic vitamin K3 (menadione). Vitamin K is fundamental in the blood clotting process, participates in skeletal system metabolism, and modifies the immune system, among other physiological processes [1].

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 [1].

How to Shrink Fibroids Fast

If you’re experiencing fibroid symptoms, it’s probably too late for vitamins. ProFibroidMD in uterine artery embolization, the non-surgical minimally invasive option that shrinks fibroids and relieves fibroid symptoms. Get in touch with us to learn more about your fibroids and your options.
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References

[1] 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.
[2] 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.
[3] 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.
[4] 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.
[5] 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
[6] 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.
[7] Azzi, A. Many tocopherols, one vitamin E. Mol. Asp. Med. 2018, 61, 92–103.

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