The benefits of vitamin D supplements for postmenopausal women have been widely debated.
But a study from Sao Paulo, Brazil, now documents that vitamin D supplementation can significantly increase muscle strength and reduce the loss of body muscle mass in women as late as 12+ years after menopause.
The study results were presented at the Annual Meeting of the North American Menopause Society.
Vitamin D deficiency is a common problem in postmenopausal women worldwide, and it creates muscle weakness and a greater tendency for falling.
In the study, researchers conducted a 9-month experiment to examine how vitamin D3 supplement influences muscle strength in women after menopause.
Each participant’s muscle mass was estimated by X-ray imaging as well as by handgrip strength and through a chair-rising test.
The researchers found that at the end of the study, the women receiving the supplements demonstrated a significant increase (+25.3%) in muscle strength.
On the other hand, women who received placebo lost an average of 6.8% of muscle mass. In addition, women not receiving vitamin D supplements or placebo were nearly two times as likely to fall.
Based on the finding, the researchers suggest that the vitamin D supplements can provide significant protection against degenerative loss of skeletal muscle.
Although this study is unlikely to decide the debate over Vitamin D, it provides further evidence to support the use of vitamin D supplements by postmenopausal women in an effort to reduce frailty and an increased risk of falling.
News source: The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).
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