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Study Finds Link Between Metabolic Syndrome, Vitamin D Deficiency in Postmenopausal Women

A recent study suggests that there may be as strong association between vitamin D deficiency and metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women. Metabolic syndrome is characterized by a group of risk factors that raise the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other diseases. These risk factors include central obesity, hypertension, and disturbed glucose and insulin metabolism.


Participants in the study included 463 women between the ages of 45 and 75. All of the participants were monitored for two years at FMB-UNESP's Climacteric & Menopause Outpatient Clinic. They all had their last menstruation at least 12 months prior and had no existing or pre-existing heart conditions.


The researchers diagnosed metabolic syndrome using the following criteria: waist circumference above 88 cm, high blood pressure (above 130/85 mmHg), high blood sugar (fasting glucose above 100 mg/dL), and abnormal levels of triglycerides (above 150 mg/dL) and cholesterol (HDL below 50 mg/dL). If a woman had three or more of those criteria, she was diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. The researchers also measured blood levels of vitamin D.


After examining the data, the researchers determined that 57.8% of the women who were vitamin D deficient had metabolic syndromes, compared to only 39.8% of women who were vitamin D sufficient.


Researchers from São Paulo State University's Botucatu Medical School in Brazil conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on October 17, 2017, in Maturitas: The European Menopause Journal.


Previous studies have associated vitamin D with improved lipid profiles, help with certain allergies, skin protection, bone health, blood sugar health and promoting cognitive function and eye health.


Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun, but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age. A high-quality vitamin D supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.

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