Calcium and vitamin D may improve cholesterol in postmenopausal women
by Newsletter Editor
Doctors wanted to see if increasing vitamin D levels would improve lipids in postmenopausal women. Lipids are circulating blood fats—triglycerides and cholesterol. In the study, 300 Caucasian, 200 African-American, and 100 Hispanic postmenopausal women took a placebo or 1,000 mg of calcium plus 400 IU of vitamin D per day.
After two years, compared to placebo, women who took calcium with vitamin D had 38 percent higher circulating levels of vitamin D and were twice as likely to have sufficient levels of vitamin D. Those who took calcium with vitamin D saw an average 4.46 mg/dL decrease in LDL, the “bad” cholesterol. As vitamin D levels rose, levels of HDL, the “good” cholesterol, were higher, and LDL and triglycerides levels were lower. Doctors said these findings suggest a link between lower levels of LDL cholesterol and higher levels of vitamin D.