Endometriosis which grow somewhere else other than the endometrium also reacts to hormonal signals of the monthly menstrual cycle by building up tissue, breaking it, and eliminating it through the menstrual period. As we know, nutritional supplements play a very important role in treating endometriosis. In this article, we will discuss how vitamins help to treat endometriosis.
A. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a bi-polar molecule formed by bonds between carbon and hydrogen. It is a fat soluble vitamin. This means it can not be stored in the liver but it can be converted from beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant. Besides helping in treating endometriosis, it is also known to have strong effects in improving vision and enhancing bone growth.
II. Vitamin A and endometriosis
a) Vitamin A is a very powerful antioxidant that not only helps to strengthen the immune system, but also protects against the growth of endometriosis.
b) Vitamin A helps in regulating the gene expression by fighting against the forming of free radicals and protecting the body organs from abnormal growth of endometrial implants and adhesion.
c) Red blood cell production
Vitamin A working together with iron helps to aid the production of red blood cells and improve the oxygen level in the circulation of blood which is necessary for the body’s cells. This results in a stronger immune system as well as protecting the forming of abnormal cells.
d) Working together with Zinc
Zinc deficiency interferes with
a) Vitamin A function of protein synthesis and fatty acid metabolism.
b) Reducing the activity of enzyme that release vitamin A palmitate from the liver causing a weakened immune system fighting against the forming of free radicals, and endometrial implants, and adhesion.
e) Work together with iron
Iron is necessary for production of red blood cells that carry oxygen in the blood stream for the body’s cells. Women who have endometriosis with heavy blood loss during menstruation normally have iron deficiency because of loss of iron which is far greater than what the body can produce leading to anemia. Intake of vitamin A and iron will increase the production of red blood cells far better than taking iron supplements alone.
Remember, overloading on zinc or iron is toxic to our body. Please make sure to talk to your doctor for the correct amount.
B. Vitamin B1
Vitamin B1 is one of the members of the vitamin B complex, it is also known as thiamin or thiamine. It’s most common form is a colorless chemical compound with the formula C12H17N4OS. It was discovered in 1910 by Umetaro Suzuki in Japan. It is a water soluble vitamin, therefore it can be stored in the body and is required to be taken regularly.
II. How Vitamin B1 benefits women with endometriosis
Women with endometriosis are found to have vitamin B complex deficiency during the menstrual cycle. It is not known if it is caused by unhealthy diet or the inability of digestive absorption.
a) Level of estrogen
Vitamin B1 helps to detoxify the liver which may be caused by intake of of alcohol, smoking and heavy metals. A strong liver is particularly important for secretion of cholesterol in breaking down estrogen that causes menstrual cramps as well as hormone balancing in the body.
b) Immune system
Vitamin B1 is an antioxidant that helps to strengthen the immune system against the forming of free radicals, endometrial implants, and adhesion somewhere else in the body except the endometrium.
c) Red blood cells
Study shows that vitamin B1 helps to normalize the activity of an enzyme called transketolase in red blood cells resulting in increased amounts of the two proteins THTR-1 and RFC-1 which helps to transport thiamine into red blood cells. This increases the production of red blood cells in the bloodstream.
d) Nervous system
It helps to reduce tension of the nervous system as a resulting of converting carbohydrates to energy which is necessary for the proper functions of the nervous system. Thereby it reduces symptoms of endometriosis in some women such as anxiety, depression, and mood swings.
e) Intestine muscle tone
Vitamin B1 helps to secrete hydrochloric acid in the stomach which is essential for the complete digestion of food particles and decreases the risk of nutrient deficiency causing hormone imbalance in the menstrual cycle.
C. Vitamin B2
Vitamin B2 is water soluble, also known as riboflavin. It has a chemical compound formula of C17H20N4O6. Like many other vitamin B complexes, it plays an important role in providing energy to our body by the metabolism of fat, carbohydrates and protein.
II. How vitamin B2 helps to treat endometriosis
1. Red blood cell formation
Vitamin B2 includes the active co-enzyme forms of flavin mononucleotide (FMN) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) that helps to transport vitamin b2 into the red blood cell as well as maintaining the red blood cell formation.
2. Strengthens the immune system
Vitamin B2 is an antioxidant that helps to rejuvenate the immune system caused by toxins accumulated in the liver that helps to maintain our body’s function fighting against any abnormality of cell growth including abnormal endometrial cells.
3. Cell growth
Since vitamin B2 helps in protein metabolism, it helps to maintain normal cell division or cell growth which decreases the risk of cell abnormality and prevent endometrial cells to grow somewhere else in the body excluding the endometrium.
4. Iron and vitamin B6
Vitamin B2 is needed for a healthy mucus membrane in the digestive system. It enhances the absorption of iron and vitamin B6 which is essential for women with endometriosis and heavy flow during menstruation.
The Riboflavin that is found in Vitamin B2 has shown beneficial results by assisting in decreasing the time as well as the frequency in which one gets a migraine headache due to symptoms of endometriosis during menstruation.
6. Nervous system
Vitamin B2 can assist with alleviating stress as well as reducing symptoms of depression that are brought on by digestive disorders that generally affects women with endometriosis during the menstrual cycle.
D. Vitamin B3
Vitamin B3 , also known as niacin, is a water-soluble vitamin. Besides being usedto treat pellagra caused by dietary lack of vitamin B3 and protein, it also has been known to be effective in treating endometriosis because women with endometriosis are found to have vitamin B3 deficiency. It has a chemical compound formula of C6H5NO2.
II. How vitamin B3 helps in treating endometriosis
1. Hormone synthesis
Vitamin B3 is found to help the manufacturing of hormones such as cortisone and the sex hormone estrogen in a woman’s body. Besides helping to inhibit levels of bad estrogen that causes menstrual cramps during menstrual cycle, it also helps to balance the prostaglandin hormone which causes over-active uterine muscles.
2. Digestive system
Deficiency of vitamin B3 is generally found in women with endometriosis during menstruation. It may be caused by the inability of the digestive system in breaking down food particles. Intake of vitamin B3 helps to re-balance the hormones that cause menstrual cramps.
3. Metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats
Besides helping to provide energy for our body in metabolism of carbohydrate through bile secretion, vitamin B3 also helps in the metabolism of protein and fat which are important for our body’s function.
4. Circulatory stimulation
Vitamin B3 also helps in stimulation of the circulatory system by reducing the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) from the arteries in some people.
5. Nervous system
Vitamin B3 is important for the healthy activity of the nervous system by providing the metabolism of protein and fat which are nutrients necessary for brain cells resulting in reduced symptoms of endometriosis such as depression, anxiety, and irritation.
Vitamin B3 increases the level of prostaglandins hormones which control the physiologic processes of blood clotting and inflammation.
E. Vitamin B5
Vitamin B5 is also known as pantothenic acid. It plays an important role in the forming of co-enzyme A and is critical in the metabolism and synthesis of carbohydrates, proteins and fat. Vitamin B5 has a chemical structure formula of C9H17NO5.
II. How vitamin B5 helps in treating endometriosis
Most women with endometriosis were found to have low levels of vitamin B5 during the menstrual cycle for what ever reason. Without enough vitamin B5 in a woman’s body, it causes:
1. A weakened immune system
Since vitamin B5 is necessary in the metabolism of carbohydrates, it helps to generate energy for our body’s cells. Without enough levels of vitamin B5, our body’s immune system is weakened and is dangerous for the forming of free radicals and cell abnormalities.
2. Poor circulation
Our liver is the first line of defense by secreting bile into the digestive system to produce good cholesterol, which helps to inhibit the bad cholesterol in the arteries. Without enough vitamin B5, bad cholesterol is left unchecked causing difficulty for blood circulation.
3. Increased risk of over-active uterine muscles
Liver helps in metabolism of fat. Without enough vitamin B5, it causes hormone imbalance in the prostaglandins family leading to over-reaction of uterine muscles which in turn causes abdominal pain.
4. Increased tension of nervous system
Fat and protein are important for nourishing the cells in the nervous system. Low levels of vitamin B5 weakens the brain cell’s function. This leads to symptoms of endometriosis such as anxiety, mood swings, and depression.
5. Increased risk of allergic reaction
Insufficient vitamin B5 in our body causes deficiency in co-enzyme A which is necessary for our body to react to sudden substances that enter our body, causing violently allergic reactions.
Fatty acid metabolism becomes less efficient and the individual is more prone to have acne.
7. Hormonal imbalance
Besides helping to reduce acne, vitamin B5 also interacts with other members of the vitamin B complex by increasing the function of the adrenal glands which is necessary to balance hormones and promote normal growth of the body.
F. Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is water soluble and a member of vitamin B complex. It plays an important role in amino acids metabolism that helps to maintain the proper function in our body.
II. Endometriosis and Vitamin B6
1. Hormone balancing
Vitamin B6 is essential for the production of the right levels of prostaglandins hormones in the prostaglandins family. Deficiency of vitamin B6 causes over active uterine muscles resulting in endometrial cramps.
2. Estrogen inhibitor
Vitamin B6 helps the live in protein and fat metabolism, thereby increasing the production of good estrogen that inhibits the bad estrogen produced by the body resulting in hormone re balancing and decrease the risk of cell abnormality and cancer.
Vitamin B6 increases the production of red blood cells that usually are depleted for the women with the heavy menstrual flow during menstruation.
4. Nervous system
Our nervous system requires variety of nutrients to function daily, vitamin B6 helps not only maintain a right levels of cholesterol but also increase the circulation of nutrients to our nervous system needed resulting in decreasing the symptoms of endometriosis, such as memory loss, confusion and anxiety.
5. Cell Growth
Vitamin B6 aids in the synthesis of DNA and RNA by maintaining the proper cell division and preventing cell abnormal growth such as peritoneal cells developing into endometrial cells.
G. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin and a member of vitamin B complex. It plays an important role in treating women with endometriosis, such as reducing symptoms of endometriosis during menstrual cycle, maintaining protein and fat metabolism, avoiding iron deficiency, etc.
II. Endometriosis and vitamin B12
Women with endometriosis are found to have low levels of vitamin B12 during menstrual cycle for what ever reason. Deficiency of Vitamin B12 deceases the production of red blood cell in the blood stream causing depletion of levels of iron in the blood leading to anemia.
2. Nervous system
Vitamin B12 is vital for protein and fat synthesis that helps to strengthen the function of nervous system resulting in lessening the nervous tension such as irritation, loss of memory, depression and mood swing.
3. Insomnia and fatigue
Besides helping in protein and fat synthesis, vitamin B12 also play an important role in carbohydrate metabolism that helps to provide energy for our body function and aids in insomnia and fatigue.
4. Immune system
Liver required vitamin B12 to function properly, deficiency of vitamin B12 causes enlarged liver resulting in decreasing the function of liver in fighting against environment toxins leading to high levels of bad estrogen in the body resulting in menstrual cramps for women with endometriosis.
5. Cell abnormality
Vitamin B12 is vital for the synthesis of DNA. Deficiency of vitamin B12 increases the risk of abnormal cell growth in the body such as endometrial cells growing somewhere else in the abdomen.
Biotin is one of the members of the vitamin B complex. It is also known as vitamin H or B7. Vitamin B7 is a co-factor in the metabolism of fatty acids, leucine, and in gluconeogenesis. It has a chemical structure formula of C10H16N2O3S. Deficiency is extremely rare, as intestinal bacteria generally produce an excess of the body’s daily requirement but for what ever reason, women with endometriosis are found to have low levels of biotin.
II. How biotin helps in treating endometriosis
1. Cell abnormality
Biotin acts as a co-factor with the other members in the vitamin B complex. It plays an important role in managing the body’s cell growth. Without enough biotin, it causes cell growth abnormality such as the forming of perinatal cells into endometrial cell in the abdominal regions.
2. Poor blood circulation
Since biotin helps in gluconeogenesis, it regulates the sugar levels in the blood stream. Without enough levels of biotin, the level of blood sugar rises causing the thickening of blood which reduces the circulatory function and blocks the transportation of nutrients and oxygen to our body’s cells. This results in an increased risk of symptoms of endometriosis.
3. Endometrial cramps
Since biotin is necessary in the metabolism of fatty acids, it helps to maintain levels of prostaglandins. Deficiency of biotin causes some members in the prostaglandins family to be over-produced during the menstrual cycle leading to menstrual and endometrial cramps.
4. Respiratory problem
Since biotin helps to synthesize carbon dioxide, without enough biotin it causes shortness of breath in women with endometriosis.
5. Risk of heart disease and stroke
If the liver cannot produce enough bile to generate good cholesterol because of not enough amounts of biotin in the body, it leads to cholesterol building up in the arteries causing the thickening of the arterial wall and the blockage o circulation of blood resulting in an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
6. Weaken function of nervous system
Since biotin acts as a co-factor with other vitamin B complexes in the metabolism of protein, deficiency of biotin interferes with that process. It weakens the normal functions of cells in the nervous system leading to tension of the nervous system such as anxiety, dizziness, loss of memory, and depression.
I. Folic Acids
Folic acid is one of the members of the vitamin B complex family and is a water soluble vitamin. It also known as vitamin M or folacin. It’s major function is to maintain normal growth and DNA of our body’s cells. It has a chemical structure formula of C19H19N7O6.
II. How folic acids helps in treating endometriosis
Since folic acid deficiency limits cell division, women with endometriosis with heavy blood flow during menstruation are required to take enough folic acid to help in production of red blood cell. If not, it will lead to megaloblastic anemia.
2. Cell abnormality
Since folic acid is necessary for cell division, deficiency of it will lead to abnormality of some cells in the body. Some endometrial cells may become cancerous or grow into endometrial cells in the abdomen.
3. Protein synthesis
Folic acids interact with other members of the vitamin B complex family in the metabolism of protein. This helps to provide nutrients to the cells in the nervous system. Deficiency of folic acids cause the weakening of the nervous system leading to symptoms of endometriosis.
4. Abnormal cell growth
Folic acid is essential to normal DNA replication, DNA repair, and cell division. Deficiency of folic acid interferes with cell production and cannot repair the damage of cell caused by toxin accumulated in the body leading to abnormal cell growth.
5. Heart disease and stroke
Deficiency of folic acid may help to decrease the circulating level of homocytesteine in the blood. Study shows that high levels of homocysteine in the bloodstream damages coronary arteries or makes it easier for blood clotting, resulting in an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
6. Endometrial cancer
Since we already know that adequate levels of folic acid helps in the synthesis, repair, and functioning of DNA. Deficiency of folic acid may result in damage to DNA that may lead to cancer.
Choline is a water soluble vitamin and belongs to the group of vitamin B complexes. It was discovered by Andreas Strecker in 1864. It is used in traditional medicine in treating heart and liver disease caused by choline deficiency.
II. How choline helps in treating endometriosis
1. Strengthens the immune system
Deficiency of choline causes fat to be deposited into the liver and reduce the function of liver to fight against the abnormal forming of endometrial implants and adhesion in other parts of the body causing inflammation.
2. Reduce risk of heart diseases
Women with endometriosis are found to have low levels of choline during their menstrual cycle. The causes of deficiency are still unknown. Choline interacts with other members in the vitamin B complex family to help in carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism which are necessary to provide energy and nutrients for our body. It also helps help to strengthen the liver in bile production, which helps to reduce the level of bad cholesterol resulting in decreasing the risk of heart diseases.
3. Increase function of nervous system
Since choline is a chemical precursor needed to produce the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, it helps to enhance the various congestion systems within the brain resulting in an improved function of the nervous system leading to reduced symptoms of endometriosis such as memory loss, poor concentration, anxiety, and mood swings.
4. Balancing hormone
Deficiency of choline causes abnormal functions of the liver. Since the liver plays an important role in fatty acid metabolism, deficiency of choline weakens the liver function resulting in excessive estrogen produced during menstrual cycle leading to hormone imbalance and endometrial cramps.
K. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is also known as L-ascorbate. It is a water soluble vitamin with a chemical structure formula of C6H6O6. It cannot be stored in the body for more than 24 hours and we are required to take it regularly. It is also best known for it’s antioxidant property in strengthening the immune system.
II. Vitamin C and endometriosis
1. Immune system
Vitamin C plays an important role in strengthening the immune system because of it’s powerful antioxidant property. It helps to guard our body against the forming of free radicals and abnormal growth of endometrial cells in other parts of the body.
2. Increase absorption of digestive system
Most women with endometriosis are found to have deficiency of some kinds of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B complex, folic acid, zinc, and magnesium. Increasing intake of vitamin C not only helps to improve digestive absorption, but also increases the body’s function in fighting against all kinds of diseases including endometriosis.
3. Hormone balancing
Besides helping strengthen the liver function to balance the estrogen level during menstrual cycle, vitamin C also balances the level of prostaglandins hormones in the prostaglandins family resulting in the calming of over-active uterine muscles.
4. Reduce heavy blood flow and blood clotting
Vitamin C not only helps to protect the breaking off of the capillaries that cause heavy blood flow for women with endometriosis during menstruation but also prevents blood clotting caused by reduction of prothrombin, thrombin, and thrombokinase concentrations in the body.
5. Decrease infection and inflammation
Vitamin C helps in protein metabolism. It not only provides our body with certain necessary proteins but also blocks the synthesis of vital proteins that cause infection and inflammation.
L. Vitamin E
Since vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin, it can be stored in our body and we don’t require to take it regularly. It is best known for its powerful antioxidant property.
II. The effects of Vitamin E in women with Endometriosis
a) Immune system
Since vitamin E is an antioxidant, it helps to increase liver function in fighting the forming of free radicals, abnormal cells and cancers. In endometriosis, it prevents the growth of abnormal endometrial to form implants and adhesion in other parts of the body excluding the endometrium.
b) Cell protection
Since vitamin E protects the fatty acid against degradation in the human body, it helps to prevent against the oxidation in cell membranes and cellular regions resulting in protecting against the breaking off of the capillary wall causing heavy blood flow during menstruation.
c) Red blood cells
Deficiency of vitamin E in women with endometriosis were also found to have anemia. It is caused by the faster than normal aging of red blood cells because of oxidative destruction of red blood cells.
d) Nervous system
Since we already known that vitamin E is essential for increasing the ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen in the circulation system, it helps to nourish the brain cells fighting against symptoms of endometriosis such as mood swings, anxiety, and depression.
e) Hormone imbalance
Deficiency of vitamin E also interferes with normal functions of thyroid and pituitary glands causing the increase of levels of fatty acids resulting in endometrial menstrual cramps which in turn result in the over-production of certain prostaglandins hormones.
M. Vitamin K
Vitamin K was first discovered by Danish scientist Herrik Dam in 1929. It is a fat-soluble vitamin. It is best known for its ability of protein synthesis and blood coagulation. Dietary deficiency is extremely rare because it is produced by bacteria in the digestive system. Since it is fat soluble, it can be stored in our body and we do no need to take them regularly.
II. How vitamin K effects women with endometriosis
1. Nervous and circulation systems
Vitamin K helps to convert glucose into glycogen which is essential for improving the liver function in fighting against the forming of bad cholesterol accumulated in the blood stream causing high blood pressure, making transportation of oxygen more difficult to the body’s cell, increasing the risk of heart disease and elevating tensions of nervous system. Glycogen can be stored in the liver, muscles, and can be used in case of deficiency.
2. Abnormal bleeding
Vitamin K also helps in production of prothrombin which is an important substance for blood clotting. Women with endometriosis were found to have vitamin K deficiency leading to heavier than normal bleeding during menstruation.
3. Immune system
Since vitamin K helps to strengthen the liver’s function, indirectly it protects our body from environmental toxins that cause abnormal endometrial implants and adhesion growing somewhere else other than the endometrium as we mentioned in the other articles.
4. Cell Growth
Vitamin K is also said to be an important vitamin that helps to regulate the cellular functions including cell adhesion, cell proliferation, and protection against the cell’s cytoskeleton to break up the membrane and bulge outward causing the loss of membrane asymmetry and attachment. Deficiency of vitamin K may cause an increase in the risk of irregularity cellular growth, such as endometriosis.
Since vitamin K deficiency causes heavy bleeding for women with endometriosis adhered to the abdominal region leading to anemia as a result of depletion of red blood cells in the body or inability of the body to produce more red blood cell to cover the loss during menstruation
Since endometriosis is treatable and manageable by natural remedies and a self help course, if you have endometroisis, please look on the bright side.