Vitamin D study suggests no mortality benefit for postmenopausal women after controlling key factors such as obesity.
Charles Eaton from the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, led an analysis of data from 2,429 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 who participated in the broad-based Women's Health Initiative study and tracked blood levels of vitamin D in the women and their mortality over a 10-year period.
They not only looked at death from all causes but also focused on cancer and cardiovascular disease and found that in all, 225 of the women died, including 79 from cardiovascular disease and 62 from cancer.
"There's not enough evidence to do anything about vitamin D levels if it's not in regard to bone health." Eaton said.
"What we have is clinical trial evidence that for the most part vitamin D doesn't seem to be helpful for conditions where people thought it might.
"The best we can tell is that there isn't an association. Once we took into account these other factors, high levels didn't provide a benefit and low levels didn't put you at risk," he said.
Eaton said that he expected to find some protective effect against such mortality from vitamin D but what was apparent in the data was that the women with the lowest levels of vitamin D also had a lot of other negative health indicators.
The study has been recently published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.