Recent study reports no effect of vitamin D and calcium on menopausal symptoms

Posted on: June 3, 2015   by  Vitamin D Council

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A recent study published in the journal Maturitas, found that vitamin D and calcium supplements did not improve menopausal symptoms.

Menopause elicits large physiological changes in women, often resulting in symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, sleep problems, mood swings, weight gain and osteoporosis.

Vitamin D status has been linked to an increased risk of fractures among menopausal women. Though, research has not thoroughly investigated the relationship between vitamin D and menopausal symptoms.

A recent study analyzed data from 34,157 women who were part of the Women’s Health Initiative, one of the largest clinical trials that has addressed the most common health issues for menopausal women.

During the trial, half of the women received a daily vitamin D supplement of 400 IU along with calcium while the other half received a placebo pill for seven years.

The researchers found that the women who took vitamin D and calcium supplements had the same number of menopausal symptoms as those who took placebo pills.

Lead author of the study, Dr. Erin LeBlanc, concluded,

“Our study suggests that women should not rely on vitamin D and calcium supplements to relieve menopausal symptoms, but there are important caveats.”

It’s important to note that the dosage of vitamin D used in the experiment is much lower than the 5000 IU of vitamin D that the Vitamin D Council recommends. The low vitamin D dosage likely contributes to the lack of significant findings from the trial. Therefore, further research is needed to evaluate the effects of vitamin D supplementation on menopausal symptoms.

Source

Vitamin D, calcium supplements do not improve menopausal symptoms. Science Daily, 2015.

9 Responses to Recent study reports no effect of vitamin D and calcium on menopausal symptoms

  1. Rita Celone Umile

    I am a big (huge) advocate of vitamin D and its cofactors for the treatment of menopausal symptom. Ijust turned 50 years old this past March. I have no menopausal or peri-menopausal symptoms whatsoever–other than irregular cycle. I have no hot flashes, I sleep 7.5 hours straight, I eat as much as I like yet keep to 110 lbs, my skin is smooth and wrinkle-free, and I have more energy than those half my age. By the way, I keep my 25(OH)D level at the higher end of the optimum range. I take (way more) than 400 iu D3 daily to keep my vitamin D level in this healthy range. I also practice safe sun exposure (yes, there is such a thing).

    • Anh Phan

      I agree with you Umile, I took way more higher than 400IU a day , but don’t take any calcium supplement and milk products. I eat lot of vegetable, and use magnesium oil. I’m turning 50 next year, but have no problem with osteoporosis or irregular period, or weight gain, wrinkle free. How much is the dose of vitamin D, and the diet and lifestyle are also very important factors to consider on any nutritional research. We should not wrongly simplify the research result, and stop using vitamin D.

  2. POELTLS

    The study amount of 400 IU is not even worth discussing as having an impact. Therefore the study is extremely flawed.

  3. larryr1024

    This was discussed in the following talk at the 2014 vitamin D conference in San Diego:
    Design Components of Interventions/Studies of Vitamin D
    http://www.ucsd.tv/search-details.aspx?showID=29081

    As I remember they gave participants 400 IU/day of D3 but only about 50% were taken so people were effectively getting only 200 IU/day. Further in the talk Dr. Heaney indicated why this is a trace dose and would be expected to have no effect.

    This is like having a study where people were given 1/20 of a regular aspirin and trumpeting how it had no effect on pain (or anything else).

  4. Karenkehler39371100

    I concur with Rita – took much more and kept my range at 30 – same results – feel great – and every woman I encouraged to test was severely deficient and the MD’s were reluctant!

  5. Davidclements

    400 iu of Vitamin D3 has a very different effect from 5000 iu per day.

    I note the headline, which implies that Vitamin D is ineffective: “Recent study reports no effect of vitamin D and calcium on menopausal symptoms.”

    I would like to request that the headlines on this website/news source, when reporting on research studies, specify the dose of Vitamin D used, and specify D3 or D2. For example: Recent study reports no effect of 400 iu/day vitamin D3 and calcium on menopausal symptoms.

    This would make it simpler for those interested in Vitamin D to process what is coming in.

    Because 400 iu per day was used, this is “old news.” many of us would not expect 400 iu to be effective, based on previous research and our own experience. I can’t use this info to help my patients. But if the study were redone with 5000 iu per day, that would be “new news,” whatever the result.

    For “old news,” I do not need to go further than the headline. For “new news,” I will read the article.

  6. Rita Celone Umile

    Dear Karen,

    I’m so happy that you’re experiencing health benefits from vitamin D with respect to menopausal symptoms. It’s interesting that you had good results at level 30 ng/ml. I was quite unhealthy at 32 ng/ml. For me, my good health did not return until my 25(OH)D level was raised to around 75 ng/ml.

  7. Amber Tovey

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback! I agree that a vitamin D dosage of 400 IU is inadequate to produce results. Therefore, I can understand your thought that this news story is outdated. However, many of the studies that show no effects receive a lot of attention in the media. I think it’s important to acknowledge these studies and point out their limitations to readers who might not know that 400 IU is way too low to cause significant benefits. This way, the readers obtain the knowledge to critically evaluate the studies.

    Also, I do see your point that it may be useful to include how much vitamin D was used in the title or the excerpt so readers who already are informed about vitamin D and its proper dosages do not need to read these stories. Thanks again for your input.

    Cheers,

    Amber

  8. Magic

    There is good news!!! It’s Not that D3 doesn’t work either. I have been disgusted with the junk that is being fed to our citizens. I will turn 82 in February and I feel great.

    I take 6 health letters from respected doctors. They are all in an uproar about Big Pharma’s control of the news. The letter I got yesterday suggested 10,000 for ALL adults.

    Finally the word is getting out, slowly but surely.

    Magic

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