Vitamin D as Progesterone-Like Hormone: Novel Applications in Obstetrics and Gynecology

Vittorio Unfer, MD (Editor)
A.G.UN.CO Obstetrics and Gynecology Center, Rome, Italy

Series: Therapeutic Approaches in Common Obstetrics and Gynecological Disorders
BISAC: MED033000

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Volume 10

Issue 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Special issue: Resilience in breaking the cycle of children’s environmental health disparities
Edited by I Leslie Rubin, Robert J Geller, Abby Mutic, Benjamin A Gitterman, Nathan Mutic, Wayne Garfinkel, Claire D Coles, Kurt Martinuzzi, and Joav Merrick

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This book addresses a very interesting topic and offers a novel insight of the well-known Vitamin D. In the past, this molecule has been wrongly considered from health professionals and researchers as a “Vitamin”. The scientific community has now extensively accepted that calcitriol, commonly called “Vitamin” D, is a steroid (more precisely, a secosteroid) hormone. In this book series, the third volume titled “Vitamin D as Progesterone-like Hormone – Novel Applications in Obstetrics and Gynecology”, offers an innovative overview of the critical role played by Vitamin D in the therapeutic approach to common obstetric and gynecological disorders. The nuclear receptors of steroid hormones have common structure/function domains called “nuclear receptors superfamily”. Progesterone and Vitamin D receptors belong to two different classes of this superfamily. Throughout each chapter, we need to keep in mind this relationship as the core of our book.

Vitamin D exerts various and distinct physiological activities during gestation along with progesterone; in some cases, it may act also as its substitute or they may strengthen reciprocally. Like progesterone, Vitamin D seems extremely functional during the luteal phase onwards. A lot of research needs to be done in order to further investigate this novel fascinating role of Vitamin D. We can see the multiple activities also in combination with other molecules, such as alpha-lipoic acid and magnesium for controlling the uterine contractile activity, inositol and melatonin to support the luteal phase or epigallocatechin gallate in the management of uterine myomas. All these attractive insights will be discussed in the present book, analyzing in depth each aspect of this powerful molecule, bringing the instructions from this guide to everyday practice. (Imprint: Nova Medicine and Health)

Foreword

Preface

Acknowledgements

Chapter 1. Evolution and Physiological Role of “Vitamin” D; Hormonal Nature and Progesterone-Like Activity in Pregnancy: An Overview
(Vittorio Unfer, MD, and Giovanni Monastra, Department of Experimental Medicine, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy)

Chapter 2. Vitamin D and Progesterone: Critical Analysis of the Functional Overlap in Immune Regulation
(Julia Szekeres-Bartho, MD, PhD, Department of Medical Biology, Pecs University, Medical School, Pecs, Hungary)

Chapter 3. Possible Role of Vitamin D in Embryo Adhesion and Implantation
(Maria Salomé Bezerra Espinola, MD, and Cesare Aragona, MD, Systems Biology Group Lab, Department of Experimental Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy)

Chapter 4. Vitamin D for the Prevention of Miscarriage and Spontaneous Preterm Birth
(Daniela Menichini, MD, and Fabio Facchinetti, MD, Mother Infant Department, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy)

Chapter 5. Vitamin D with Alpha-Lipoic Acid and Magnesium for Controlling Uterine Contractile Activity
(Imelda Hernández Marín, MD, Liliana Velázquez, PhD, and Juan Rivero, Biología de la Reproducción Humana, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México, México)

Chapter 6. Vitamin D in Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART): The Therapeutic Regimen
(Stamatios Petousis, MD, PhD, Konstantinos Ravanos, MD, Chrysoula Margioula-Siarkou, MD, PhD, George Mavromatidis, MD, PhD, Konstantinos Dinas, MD, PhD, Yannis Prapas, MD, PhD, and Nikolaos Prapas, MD, PhD, IAKENTRO, Infertility Treatment Center, Thessaloniki, Greece, and others)

Chapter 7. A Support for the Luteal Phase: Supplementation with Vitamin D, Inositol and Melatonin
(Lidia Di Cerbo, MD, Conisha Holloman, MD, and Monica Longo, MD, PhD, Mother Infant Department, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy, and others)

Chapter 8. The Role of Vitamin D in the Management of Uterine Fibroids: The Possible Synergy with Epigallocatechin Gallate
(Giusy Porcaro, MD, and Beatrice Orrù, PhD, Women’s Health Center, Azienda USL Umbria, Orvieto, Italy, and others)

Chapter 9. Vitamin D and Cancer
(Noemi Monti., Sara Proietti, PhD, Alessandra Cucina, PhD, and Mariano Bizzarri, MD, PhD, Department of Experimental Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, Systems Biology Group Lab, Rome, Italy, and others)

Index

"This book summarizes in a transparent manner the most recent knowledge about the role of vitamin D in reproductive medicine. The authors focus, in individual chapters, on the explanation of the role played by vitamin D during the consecutive stages of pregnancy starting from conception. It is an excellent and innovative source of knowledge for anyone assisting patients with reproductive problems." - Artur Wdowiak Assoc. Prof., MD, Ph.D., Head of Diagnostic Techniques Unit, Medical University of Lublin, Poland

"This is a first review concerning the comparative analysis of the data about progesterone-like activity of Vitamin D in women. The book might help to understand a gap between the relationship of Vitamin D and progesterone physiological functions in human reproduction. I believe that this book gives an extensive biologic plausibility to the theory that vitamin D levels would be an effective target for fertility improvement and pregnancy outcomes. It appears that the chapter on vitamin D and its progesterone-like action for the general population may have been written based on the most recent trials. However, many questions still remain and will likely fuel ongoing investigation and debate. Are there benefits to vitamin D supplementation regarding fertility outcomes? What is the true benefit on pregnancy outcomes for vitamin D administration in the women population? These questions and others in both fertility and pregnancy will likely keep the book open on vitamin D for the foreseeable future." - Julia Fedotova, Professor, PhD, Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology, ITMO University, St. Petersburg, Russia

"To date, Vitamin D is fully considered a secosteroid hormone, since it acts on several cellular mechanisms through both genomic and non-genomic pathways. Indeed, accumulating evidence suggests that both calcitriol and, its direct precursor, calcidiol, play a pivotal role to maintain metabolic, hormonal and immune homeostasis in different tissues and microenvironments in humans. In addition, several pieces of evidence support the paramount importance of Vitamin D compounds in human reproduction, both for male and female fertility as well as for several key events such as decidualization, oocyte developmental competence, embryo implantation, placental framework formation, and immune regulation at the maternal-fetal interface. In this scenario, this new book provides a comprehensive summary of the complex mechanisms orchestrated by Vitamin D, from the basic science to the clinical application. I think that this book could be considered a real milestone for gynecologists, obstetricians, endocrinologists, diabetologists and experts of reproductive medicine, since it can be truly helpful to guide the decision-making process in the clinical practice through an evidence-based approach." - Antonio Simone Laganà, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, “Filippo Del Ponte” Hospital, University of Insubria, Varese, Italy

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