According to a study done in Brazil, there is a strong correlation between a deficiency in vitamin D and metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women.
Metabolic syndrome refers to a specific set of conditions. These heighten the risk of things like diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
Metabolic syndrome over half of the over-50-female population in the United States.
To conduct the study, researchers from the MB-UNESP’s Climacteric & Menopause Outpatient Clinic began monitoring 463 women, between 45 and 75 years of age.
Each woman’s last menstruation period was at least 12 months prior to the study. None of the women had either existing nor pre-existing heart issues.
After the study, the researchers began running tests on each participant to discover if they had metabolic syndrome.
In order to obtain a metabolic syndrome diagnosis, the participant met three out of the following parameters:
- High blood sugar (fasting glucose over 100 mg/dL)
- Abnormal levels of triglycerides (over 150 mg/dL)
- Waist circumference over 88 cm
- High blood pressure (over 130/85 mmHg)
- Abnormal levels of cholesterol (HDL below 50 mg/dL)
According to News Medical Life Sciences:
“We measured the participants’ blood vitamin D levels and also analyzed parameters indicating MetS. We found that the lower the level of blood vitamin D, the greater the occurrence of MetS. The results suggest that supplementing and maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D in postmenopausal women can reduce the risk of disease,” said Eliana Aguiar Petri Nahas, a professor in FMB-UNESP’s Department of Gynecology & Obstetrics and one of the authors of the study.
Data from previous studies has shown that there are several factors that can explain the effect of vitamin D on the various conditions of metabolic syndrome.
According to the researchers, the most obvious explanation for this association is that vitamin D impacts the secretion of insulin and sensitivity. Both of these play a huge role in metabolic syndrome.
As News Medical Life Sciences states:
“The vitamin D receptor is expressed in insulin-secreting pancreatic beta cells and in peripheral target tissues such as skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. Vitamin D deficiency can compromise the capacity of beta cells to convert pro-insulin to insulin,” wrote the researchers of the FAPESP-funded project.
According to the researchers, however, more studies are needed to confirm the link. “The objective of the study was to evaluate the association between vitamin D deficiency and risk factors for MetS in postmenopausal women,” they write in the article.