Vitamin D and this hormone may prevent heart disease, stroke, and diabetes

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Vitamin D and estrogen have already shown well-documented results in improving bone health in women.

Scientists from China found that this same combination could help prevent metabolic syndrome, a constellation of conditions that increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes in older women.

The research is published in Menopause.

Metabolic syndrome has emerged as a major public health concern, affecting 30% to 60% of postmenopausal women worldwide.

Metabolic syndrome increases strongly as women age and appears to be directly linked to estrogen loss in older women.

This has led some researchers to recommend estradiol treatment for women who are fewer than 6 years postmenopausal as a means of preventing heart disease.

Similarly, vitamin D has been associated with several markers of metabolic syndrome, including obesity, hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes.

Supplementation with vitamin D has been shown to reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome over a 20-year follow-up.

In the study, the team tested 616 older women aged 49 to 86 years who were not taking estrogen and vitamin D/calcium supplements at the beginning of the trial.

They found there was a positive correlation between vitamin D and estradiol.

Specifically, higher vitamin D was linked to better blood fat levels, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. Estradiol was negatively associated with cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure.

These results suggest a combined role of vitamin D and estradiol deficiency in developing metabolic syndrome in older women.

The Endocrine Society recommends vitamin D levels of 30 ng/mL for older women.

Whether adequate levels of vitamin D improve heart or cognitive benefits needs to be tested in future research.

If you care about supplements, please read studies about supplements that could keep dementia at bay, and Omega-3 supplements may harm heart health for some people.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies that Vitamin D can be a cheap treatment for COVID-19, and results showing Vitamin K may help cut heart disease risk by a third.

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