Low vitamin D levels may increase the risk of bone fractures during menopause.
Researchers studied 1,756 menopausal women (their average age was 49) from five cities who had participated in the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation. Those who had vitamin D blood levels of at least 20 ng/mL had a 46 percent lower risk of a non-traumatic bone fracture over 10 years than those with vitamin D levels below 20 ng/mL.
(The researchers called a fracture traumatic if it occurred in a car accident, while playing sports, if something fell on the participant, or if she fell from higher-than-standing height. A non-traumatic fracture was due to falling from standing height or less.)
What to do: Ask your doctor if you should get your vitamin D blood level tested. While some experts argue that levels should reach 30 ng/mL, all agree that less than 20 ng/mL is low.
Forty-three percent of the women in this study had blood vitamin D levels lower than 20 ng/mL. (The study had too few women at higher levels to test whether 30 ng/mL lowers the risk of fractures even more.)
Source: Nutrition Action Health Letter June 2015