Research studies on the benefits of vitamin D for postmenopausal girls have had conflicting results, with some showing no advantage and others showing great benefits for bone, muscle, reduced falls and reduced fracture risk. Now a new study has emerged from research workers in Sao Paulo Brazil that has conclusively demonstrated that vitamin D supplements can decrease loss of muscle, improve muscle strength, and reduce the chance of falls after menopause.
It is called the “Sunshine Vitamin” because spending time outside in sunlight is known to boost vitamin D levels in the body through the skin. Our ancestors spent a substantial amount of their time outside, but for the first time ever, considerable amounts of earth people spend most of their time within their offices and houses. This has lead to a widespread vitamin D deficiency. Spending some time in the sun a few days a week is great, and if taking supplements, vitamin D3 is your ideal form.
Besides strengthening bone and muscle, researchers also have discovered that vitamin D can help to modulate the adrenal cycle and its lack has a part in the current global epidemic of sleep disorders. This makes vitamin D an essential advantage in insomnia, which is another condition that can often plague menopausal women. The most recent vitamin D research from Brazil focused on muscle power in postmenopausal girls and took place on a nine-month period. It was a placebo controlled trial and was double-blinded – that means that neither the participants nor the investigators knew which women received the vitamin D and which did not.
Three types of tests were used to measure muscular power: A seat rising evaluation that measured leg power when standing up from a seat, a entire body x ray, and a hand-grip test. At the close of the trial, the women who received the placebo ended up with decreased muscle mass and muscular degeneration of 6.8%. They also had twice as many drops as the vitamin D group. On the other hand, the women who took the vitamin D supplement had a significant increase in their muscle power of over 25 percent – even when taken 12 years following menopause.
The outcomes of the study were presented at the yearly meeting of the North American Menopause Society. Vitamin D has many vital roles in the health of the entire body, including supporting the heart, nerves and brain. Additionally, a study by the Journal of Investigative Medicine found that vitamin D is a powerful increase to immunity and that lack is common in autoimmune disease – a group of diseases where the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells by mistake. These include multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease. Some fantastic vitamin D-rich foods include cod liver oil, sardines, salmon, mackerel, eggs and herring. The best supplemental type to take is vitamin D3, since this is the pure form made by sunlight on skin, as opposed to D2.