Postmenopausal women who gain elevated serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3
through supplementation see reductions in LDL cholesterol, according
to a study in Menopause.
Researchers measured lipids among some 600 Women’s Health Initiative
participants who’d been randomized to receive either daily vitamin D
(400 IU) plus calcium (1000 mg), or placebo. At 2 years, the mean
serum vitamin D level was significantly higher in the supplement
versus placebo group (24.3 vs. 18.2 ng/mL). Further, supplement
recipients had a 4.5-mg/dL decrease in LDL cholesterol relative to
placebo recipients — an effect mediated by serum vitamin D levels.
The researchers conclude: “Although further studies are needed to
determine whether these findings translate into clinically meaningful
results, this should be viewed as a reminder that women at higher risk
for 25OHD3 deficiency should consider supplementation” with calcium
and vitamin D.