In the months or years leading up to menopause some women experience irregular periods, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, night sweats, sleep problems, mood changes, weight gain and slowed metabolism, thinning hair and dry skin. Sometimes doctors prescribe vitamin D and calcium supplements to improve these menopausal symptoms. However, a new study has revealed that vitamin D and calcium supplements do not improve menopausal symptoms. Women who took these supplements had the same number of menopausal symptoms as women who did not take the supplements.
The study involved 34,157 women aged 50-79 years and was part of the Women's Health Initiative, one of the largest clinical trials ever undertaken to address the most common causes of death, disability and impaired quality of life in menopausal women.
Lead author Erin S. LeBlanc said, "The study suggests that women should not rely on vitamin D and calcium supplements to relieve menopausal symptoms, but there are important caveats. The average age of the women at the start of our study was 64, but the average age of menopause is 51 and it's around that time that the most severe symptoms usually occur. If people want to understand vitamin D's effects on the most severe symptoms of menopause, they need to do a study in younger women."
The study was published in Maturitas.