Vitamin D has been credited with many health benefits, but here’s one you may not have heard about. A deficiency of vitamin D has been associated with a greater prevalence of urinary incontinence and other pelvic floor disorders. Study participants who had vitamin D levels lower than 30 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) had a 170 percent increased risk of urinary incontinence compared with those who had higher blood levels of vitamin D.
Although this study was conducted in women, the same findings could be extrapolated to include men as well.
Vitamin D is involved in maintaining muscle health in both men and women. Since both men and women have pelvic floor muscles that play a role in urinary control, a deficiency or low level of vitamin D could have a negative impact on muscle strength and structure in the pelvis necessary for urinary control.
The study involved 1,881 women (average age, 48) for whom the investigators compared vitamin D levels with the incidence of urinary incontinence and other pelvic floor disorders. In addition to the association between a vitamin D deficiency and urinary incontinence, the authors also reported that the chance of having urinary incontinence was significantly reduced in women age 50 and older who had vitamin D levels of 30 ng/mL or higher.
The take-home message from this study is that vitamin D appears to have a significant role in urinary incontinence. Other studies have shown that vitamin D is an important nutrient for prostate and urinary health, and this research supports those findings as well.
Badalian SS, Rosenbaum PF. Vitamin D and pelvic floor disorders in women: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Obstetrics and Gynecology 2010 Apr; 115(4): 795-803