Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Calcium, vitamin D improve cholesterol in postmenopausal women

Date:
March 5, 2014
Source:
The North American Menopause Society (NAMS)
Summary:
Calcium and vitamin D supplements after menopause can improve women's cholesterol profiles. And much of that effect is tied to raising vitamin D levels, finds a new study. Whether calcium or vitamin D can indeed improve cholesterol levels has been debated. And studies of women taking the combination could not separate the effects of calcium from those of vitamin D on cholesterol. But a new study is helping to settle those questions because it looked both at how a calcium and vitamin D supplement changed cholesterol levels and how it affected blood levels of vitamin D in postmenopausal women.

Calcium and vitamin D supplements after menopause can improve women's cholesterol profiles. And much of that effect is tied to raising vitamin D levels, finds a new study from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) just published online in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

Whether calcium or vitamin D can indeed improve cholesterol levels has been debated. And studies of women taking the combination could not separate the effects of calcium from those of vitamin D on cholesterol. But this study, led by NAMS Board of Trustees member Peter F. Schnatz, DO, NCMP, is helping to settle those questions because it looked both at how a calcium and vitamin D supplement changed cholesterol levels and how it affected blood levels of vitamin D in postmenopausal women.

Daily, the women in the WHI CaD trial took either a supplement containing 1,000 mg of calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D3 or a placebo. This analysis looked at the relationship between taking supplements and levels of vitamin D and cholesterol in some 600 of the women who had both their cholesterol levels and their vitamin D levels measured.

The women who took the supplement were more than twice as likely to have vitamin D levels of at least 30 ng/mL (normal according to the Institute of Medicine) as were the women who took the placebo. Supplement users also had low-density lipoprotein (LDL -- the "bad" cholesterol) levels that were between 4 and 5 points lower. The investigators discovered, in addition, that among supplement users, those with higher blood levels of vitamin D had higher levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL -- the "good" cholesterol) and lower levels of triglycerides (although for triglycerides to be lower, blood levels of vitamin D had to reach a threshold of about 15 ng/mL).

Taking the calcium and vitamin D supplements was especially helpful in raising vitamin D levels in women who were older, women who had a low intake, and women who had levels first measured in the winter -- what you might expect. But lifestyle also made a difference. The supplements also did more to raise vitamin D levels in women who did not smoke and who drank less alcohol.

Whether these positive effects of supplemental calcium and vitamin D on cholesterol will translate into benefits such as lower rates of cardiovascular disease for women after menopause remains to be seen, but these results, said the authors, are a good reminder that women at higher risk for vitamin D deficiency should consider taking calcium and vitamin D.

"The results of this study should inspire even more women to be conscientious about their calcium and vitamin D intake -- a simple and safe way to improve health. One action can lead to multiple benefits!" says NAMS Executive Director Margery Gass, MD.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The North American Menopause Society (NAMS). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Peter F. Schnatz, Xuezhi Jiang, Sharon Vila-Wright, Aaron K. Aragaki, Matthew Nudy, David M. O’Sullivan, Rebecca Jackson, Erin LeBlanc, Jennifer G. Robinson, James M. Shikany, Catherine R. Womack, Lisa W. Martin, Marian L. Neuhouser, Mara Z. Vitolins, Yiqing Song, Stephen Kritchevsky, JoAnn E. Manson. Calcium/vitamin D supplementation, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations, and cholesterol profiles in the Women’s Health Initiative calcium/vitamin D randomized trial. Menopause, 2014; 1 DOI: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000188

Cite This Page:

The North American Menopause Society (NAMS). "Calcium, vitamin D improve cholesterol in postmenopausal women." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140305125307.htm>.
The North American Menopause Society (NAMS). (2014, March 5). Calcium, vitamin D improve cholesterol in postmenopausal women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140305125307.htm
The North American Menopause Society (NAMS). "Calcium, vitamin D improve cholesterol in postmenopausal women." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140305125307.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden laid out new guidelines for health care workers when dealing with the deadly Ebola virus including new precautions when taking off personal protective equipment. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins