Vitamin D and calcium supplements do nothing to improve the symptoms associated with menopause, findings from the WHI study shows.
The study that followed more than 34,000 women for nearly six years found that women who took 1000 mg of calcium plus 400 IU of vitamin D supplement daily had an average of 6.26 menopausal symptoms compared to an average of 6.32 symptoms for women who did not take the supplements.
There were also no differences on overall measures of emotional well-being, fatigue and sleep disturbances between the two groups, reported the study authors in Maturitas.
“Our study suggests that women should not rely on vitamin D and calcium supplements to relieve menopausal symptoms, but there are important caveats,” said Erin S. LeBlanc, MD, MPH, lead author and investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon.
“The average age of the women at the start of our study was 64, but the average age of menopause is 51, and it’s around that time that the most severe symptoms usually occur.
“If we want to understand vitamin D’s effects on the most severe symptoms of menopause, we need to do a study in younger women,” she said.