Vitamin D, calcium intake may reduce risk for early menopause – Healio

Elevated consumption of dietary vitamin D and calcium may be associated with a lower risk for early menopause, according to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“Early menopause, defined as the cessation of ovarian function before the age of 45 [years], affects [approximately] 10% of women and is associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and other conditions,” Alexandra C. Purdue-Smithe, MSc, epidemiology doctoral candidate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s School of Public Health and Health Sciences, and colleagues wrote. “Few modifiable risk factors for early menopause have been identified, but emerging data suggest that high vitamin D intake may reduce risk.”

Purdue-Smithe and colleagues examined the association between intake of vitamin D and calcium and the incidence of early menopause using data from the prospective Nurses’ Health Study II, which included 116,430 female registered nurses from the United States between the ages of 25 and 42 years in 1989. Every 2 years since 1989, participants reported their lifestyle behaviors and medical conditions on follow-up questionnaires. In addition, every 4 years, intakes of vitamin D and calcium from foods and supplements were measured using a food-frequency questionnaire. During the course of the study, 2,041 participants, contributing to more than 1 million person-years of follow-up, experienced early menopause.

Data adjusted for age, smoking and other factors indicated that there was a significant 17% reduced risk for early menopause in women with the highest intake of vitamin D (quintile median: 528 IU/d) compared with those with the lowest intake (quintile median: 148 IU/d; HR = 0.83; 95% CI, 0.72-0.95]; P = 0.03). A modest, yet significant lower risk for early menopause was observed in women with the highest intake of dietary calcium (median quintile: 1,246 mg/d) compared with the lowest intake (median quintile: 556 mg/d; HR = 0.87; 95% CI; 0.76-1; P = 0.03). These associations were strongest when vitamin D and calcium came from dairy sources rather than nondairy sources. High supplement use did not lower the risk of early menopause.

“The large size of this study allowed us to consider a variety of potential correlates of a healthy lifestyle that might explain our findings; however, adjusting for these factors made almost no difference in our estimates,” Purdue-Smithe said in a related press release.

In the release, Purdue-Smithe noted that she plans to conduct more studies to further investigate how individual dairy foods and other components of dairy may be associated with early menopause. – by Alaina Tedesco

Disclosure: The researchers report receiving support from NIH.



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