Low Vitamin D may not be a culprit in menopause symptoms

A new study from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) shows no significant connection between vitamin D levels and menopause symptoms. The study was published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society.

The authors analyzed the relationship between the blood levels of vitamin D and a number of , including , night sweats, sleep disturbance, concentration, and forgetfulness in 530 women who participated in the calcium and vitamin D WHI trial.

There was good reason to look for a link because other studies have implied some relationship. For example, with higher vitamin D levels have fewer hot flashes and other symptoms than women with lower levels. Supplementing vitamin D can improve mood in other groups of people. The vitamin can protect against depletion of serotonin, which plays a role in regulating body heat. And vitamin D deficiency can result in muscle and joint pain.

Furthermore, estrogen plays a role in activating vitamin D, meaning that the estrogen deficiency that comes with menopause could worsen any problems with vitamin D deficiency.

The number of symptoms and vitamin D levels had a borderline significant relationship at first, but after the analysts adjusted for multiple comparisons, the association disappeared. And in looking at multiple comparisons, no individual menopause symptoms were significantly associated with vitamin D either.

"With so many women taking vitamin D supplements these days, it is good to know what it can and cannot do. We need to be realistic in our expectations," says NAMS Executive Director Margery Gass, MD.

The authors cautioned that this study doesn't entirely prove that vitamin D levels and menopause symptoms are not connected because the sample of women they had with enough data was relatively small and the women, who averaged age 66, were nearly 16 years from , and only 27 percent of the women in this group had hot flashes or night sweats. Looking at vitamin D levels in women as they go through the might be valuable.

More information: The article "Vitamin D levels and menopause-related symptoms" will be published in the November 2014 print edition of Menopause.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Calcium and vitamin D help hormones help bones

Jun 26, 2013

Should women take calcium and vitamin D supplements after menopause for bone health? Recommendations conflict, and opinions are strong. But now, an analysis from the major Women's Health Initiative (WHI) trial throws weight ...

High blood pressure in pregnancy may spell hot flashes later

Apr 03, 2013

Women who have hypertensive diseases during pregnancy seem to be at higher risk of having troublesome hot flashes and night sweats at menopause, report researchers from the Netherlands in an article published online today ...

Vitamin D deficiency may compromise immune function

Feb 25, 2014

Older individuals who are vitamin D deficient also tend to have compromised immune function, according to new research accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) ...

Recommended for you

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

Oct 24, 2014

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

Oct 24, 2014

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

Hand blenders used for cooking can emit persistent chemicals

Oct 24, 2014

Eight out of twelve tested models of hand blenders are leaking chlorinated paraffins when used according to the suppliers' instructions. This is revealed in a report from Stockholm University where researchers analyzed a ...

User comments