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Vitamin D Deficiency Linked To MetS In Postmenopausal Women, Study Finds

Postmenopausal women who suffer from a vitamin D deficiency are at higher risk for Metabolic Syndrome. According to a study conducted by São Paulo State University’s Botucatu Medical School in Brazil, women who have a vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency are more likely to experience Metabolic Syndrome than those who are vitamin D sufficient.

Researchers analyzed a group of 463 postmenopausal women between the ages of 45 and 75. Participants had no pre-existing heart conditions and were monitored at the Climacteric and Menopause Outpatient Clinic for two years.

During the study, researchers analyzed participants based on the parameters for a Metabolic Syndrome Diagnosis. These parameters include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol levels, waist circumference, and abnormal levels of triglycerides.

If the patient meets three of these criteria, they’re diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome.

Metabolic Syndrome, or MetS, is a group of conditions that increase a person’s risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke. The conditions listed above (high blood pressure, high blood sugar, etc) increase the risk for these health problems when they occur together.

Researchers also measured the blood vitamin D levels of participants in comparison to the MetS parameters. MetS was detected in 57.8% of women with vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency. However, MetS was only detected in 39.8% of those who were vitamin D sufficient.

“We found that the lower the level of blood vitamin D, the greater the occurrence of MetS,” said Eliana Aguiar Petri Nahas, an author in the study.

“The results suggest that supplementing and maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D in postmenopausal women can reduce the risk of disease,” Nahas said.

How do you know whether you have vitamin D inefficiency?

Approximately 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point during their life. However, back pain may also be a sign of vitamin D deficiency.

Other signs of deficiency include fatigue, depression, getting sick often, muscle pain, and hair loss. Up to 21 million American women are currently living with hair loss so it’s important to know the root cause to avoid further health problems.

Yet, the link between vitamin D deficiency and MetS isn’t limited to postmenopausal women. Age is a leading factor that’s been known to affect vitamin D deficiency.

“Aging leads not just to loss of muscle mass,” said Nahas, “but also to changes in body composition, and this pre-vitamin D is lost. That’s why older people produce less vitamin D even if they get plenty of sunlight.”

More studies are needed to understand the correlation between vitamin D and MetS. For now, postmenopausal women are recommended to consult with their primary care doctors to ensure they’re getting the right amount of vitamin D.

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