Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 925–928 | Cite as

Association of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) concentrations with maternal sex steroids and IGF-1 hormones during pregnancy

  • Adetunji T. Toriola
  • Helja-Marja Surcel
  • Anika Husing
  • Kjell Grankvist
  • Hans-Ake Lakso
  • Helena Schock
  • Eva Lundin
  • Matti Lehtinen
  • Annekatrin Lukanova
Brief report



Vitamin D may influence circulating levels of sex steroid hormones in women during reproductive life, but associations in pregnant women have not been explored.


Correlation and linear regression models were used to assess the association between sex steroids, (estradiol, progesterone, 17-hydroxyprogesterone, testosterone, and androstenedione), IGF-1, and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) concentrations during the first trimester of pregnancy in 106 cancer-free women from the Finnish Maternity Cohort.


There was no significant association of serum 25-OHD with any of the hormones measured. One-unit increase in serum 25-OHD concentration was associated with a non-significant 6% increase in estradiol concentrations. Multiparous women had higher levels of vitamin D (40.4 vs. 32.9 nmol/L, p-value = 0.01) than primiparous women.


Our study does not support an association between maternal serum 25-OHD levels and sex steroids or IGF-I concentrations during the first trimester of pregnancy.


Vitamin D Estradiol Progesterone Testosterone Androstenedione IGF-1 Sex steroids Pregnancy 



Supported by grant number CA120061 from the US National Cancer Institute. Adetunji T Toriola was supported by an EACR (European Association for Cancer Research) Travel Fellowship Award to visit the Department of Cancer Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Centre, Heidelberg.


  1. 1.
    Norman AW (2008) From vitamin D to hormone D: fundamentals of the vitamin D endocrine system essential for good health. Am J Clin Nutr 88(2):491S–499SPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Deeb KK, Trump DL, Johnson CS (2007) Vitamin D signalling pathways in cancer: potential for anticancer therapeutics. Nat Rev Cancer 7(9):684–700PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kinuta K, Tanaka H, Moriwake T, Aya K, Kato S, Seino Y (2000) Vitamin D is an important factor in estrogen biosynthesis of both female and male gonads. Endocrinology 141(4):1317–1324PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Parikh G, Varadinova M, Suwandhi P, Araki T, Rosenwaks Z, Poretsky L, Seto-Young D (2010) Vitamin D regulates steroidogenesis and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1) production in human ovarian cells. Horm Metab Res 42:754–757PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Halloran B, Deluca HF (1980) Effect of vitamin D deficiency on fertility and reproductive capacity in female rats. J Nutr 110:1573–1580PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hodgins MB, Murad S (1986) 1, 25-Dihydroxycholecalciferol stimulates conversion of androstenedione into oestrone by human skin fibroblasts in culture. J Endocrinol 110(1):R1–R4PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Knight JA, Wong J, Blackmore KM, Raboud JM, Vieth R (2010) Vitamin D association with estradiol and progesterone in young women. Cancer Causes Control 21:479–483PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Abbas S, Chang-Claude J, Linseisen J (2009) Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D and premenopausal breast cancer risk in a German case-control study. Int J Cancer 124(1):250–255PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Crew KD, Gammon MD, Steck SE, Hershman DL, Cremers S, Dworakowski E, Shane E, Terry MB, Desai M, Teitelbaum SL, Neugut AI, Santella RM (2009) Association between plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D and breast cancer risk. Cancer Prev Res (Phila) 2(6):598–604CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Krishnan AV, Swami S, Feldman D (2010) Vitamin D and breast cancer: inhibition of estrogen synthesis and signaling. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 121(1–2):343–348PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ding EL, Mehta S, Fawzi WW, Giovannucci EL (2008) Interaction of estrogen therapy with calcium and vitamin D supplementation on colorectal cancer risk: Reanalysis of Women’s Health Initiative randomized trial. Int J Cancer 122:1690–1694PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Swami S, Krishnan AV, Feldman D (2000) 1alpha, 25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 down-regulates estrogen receptor abundance and suppresses estrogen actions in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. Clin Cancer Res 6(8):3371–3379PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Knochenhauer E, Azziz R (2001) Ovarian hormones and adrenal androgens during a woman’s life span. J Am Acad Dermatol 45:S105–S115PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    The endocrinology of pregnancy. In: Speroff L, Fritz M. Clinical Gynecologic Endocrinology and Infertility. 7th ed., Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2005:259-318Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Agborsangaya C, Toriola AT, Grankvist K, Surcel HM, Holl K, Parkkila S, Tuohimaa P, Lukanova A, Lehtinen M (2010) The effects of storage time and sampling season on the stability of serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D and androstenedione. Nutr Cancer 62(1):51–57PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Szwajcer EM, Hiddink GJ, Maas L, Koelen MA, van Woerkum CM (2008) Nutrition-related information-seeking behaviours of women trying to conceive and pregnant women: evidence for the life course perspective. Fam Pract 25(Suppl 1):i99–i104PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adetunji T. Toriola
    • 1
  • Helja-Marja Surcel
    • 1
  • Anika Husing
    • 2
  • Kjell Grankvist
    • 3
  • Hans-Ake Lakso
    • 3
  • Helena Schock
    • 2
  • Eva Lundin
    • 3
  • Matti Lehtinen
    • 4
  • Annekatrin Lukanova
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.National Institute for Health and WelfareOuluFinland
  2. 2.Department of Cancer EpidemiologyGerman Cancer Research CentreHeidelbergGermany
  3. 3.Department of Medical BiosciencesUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden
  4. 4.Tampere School of Public HealthUniversity of TampereTampereFinland
  5. 5.Department of Obstetrics and GynaecologyNew York University School of MedicineNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations