Razi Berry

Vitamin D and estrogen have already shown well-documented results in improving bone health in women. A new study from China suggests that this same combination could help prevent metabolic syndrome, a constellation of conditions that increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes in postmenopausal women. Results are published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

Vitamin D and estrogen could help prevent metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome has emerged as a major public health concern, affecting 30% to 60% of postmenopausal women worldwide. The progression of abdominal obesity and heart disease that lead to metabolic syndrome increases significantly as women age and appears to be directly associated with estrogen loss in postmenopausal women. This has led some researchers to recommend estradiol treatment for women who are fewer than 6 years postmenopausal as a means of preventing heart disease.

Metabolic syndrome has emerged as a major public health concern

Similarly, vitamin D has been associated with several markers of metabolic syndrome, including obesity, hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Supplementation with vitamin D has been shown to reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome over a 20-year follow-up.

Synergistic benefits of vitamin D and estrogen already documented to improve bone health

Because the synergistic benefits of vitamin D and estrogen are already documented to improve bone health in women, researchers in this newest study from China hypothesized that the same interaction might affect metabolic syndrome. The cross-sectional study included 616 postmenopausal women aged 49 to 86 years who were not taking estrogen and vitamin D/calcium supplements at the beginning of the trial. It concluded there was a positive correlation between vitamin D and estradiol.

Higher vitamin D associated with a favorable lipid profile, blood pressure, and glucose level

Specifically, higher vitamin D was associated with a favorable lipid profile, blood pressure, and glucose level. Estradiol was negatively associated with cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure. These results suggest a synergistic role of vitamin D and estradiol deficiency in developing metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women.

Findings are published in the article “The synergistic effects of vitamin D and estradiol deficiency on metabolic syndrome in Chinese postmenopausal women.”

Low estradiol increased the risk of metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women with vitamin D deficiency

“In this cross-sectional study, low estradiol increased the risk of metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women who had vitamin D deficiency. The Endocrine Society recommends vitamin D levels of 30 ng/mL for postmenopausal women. Whether adequate levels of vitamin D improve nonskeletal cardiovascular or cognitive benefits remains the subject of debate, and answers await randomized clinical trial data,” said Dr JoAnn Pinkerton, NAMS Executive Director.

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Razi Berry is the founder and publisher of  the journal Naturopathic Doctor News & Review, which has been in print since 2005, and the premier consumer-faced website of naturopathic medicine, NaturalPath.  She is the host of The Natural Cancer Prevention Summit and The Heart Revolution-Heal, Empower and Follow Your Heart, and the popular 10 week Sugar Free Summer program. From a near death experience as a young girl that healed her failing heart, to later overcoming infertility and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia through naturopathic medicine, Razi has lived the mind/body healing paradigm. Her projects uniquely capture the tradition and philosophy of naturopathy: The healing power of nature, the vital life force in every living thing and the undeniable role that science and mind/body medicine have in creating health and overcoming dis-ease. Follow Razi on Facebook at Razi Berry and join us at  Love is Medicine  to explore the convergence of love and health.

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