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   May 11

Vitamin D rich diet reduces the risk of an early menopause by 17%, study reveals

Vitamin D is thought to slow down the ageing process of women’s ovaries

Calcium-rich foods lower the risk of the condition by 13% due to sex hormones

Vitamin D is in sunlight, as well as being found in oily fish, egg yolks and cereals

Dairy products in the UK are not vitamin D fortified and may have less benefit

Women can cut their risk of an early menopause by eating oily fish and eggs, a new study reveals.

A high vitamin D intake via food and supplements lowers the risk by 17 percent.

Vitamin D is thought to slow the ageing of women’s ovaries.

Calcium-rich foods make women 13 percent less likely to suffer.

Around one in 10 women go through the menopause before the age of 45, increasing their risk of osteoporosis and heart disease, and reducing their chances of conceiving.

A high vitamin D intake via food and supplements lowers the risk of menopause by 17%


Hot flushes in women aged 40 to 53 may be a sign of blood vessel damage, which can cause heart disease, according to a study from April this year.

The uncomfortable symptom is also thought to prevent blood vessels’ ability to dilate, which can cause high blood pressure.

Researchers found no association between hot flushes and heart disease risk in women aged 54 to 60.

Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, executive director, the North American Menopause Society, said: ‘Hot flushes are not just a nuisance.

‘In this study, physiologically measured hot flushes appear linked to cardiovascular changes occurring early during the menopause transition.’

The US study, which included Harvard University, analysed 116,430 female health workers over two decades.

Their diet was recorded in food questionnaires five times over that period, during which 2,041 women entered the menopause.

Results, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, revealed that among those who consumed the most vitamin D, their risk of entering the menopause was 17 percent lower.

A high calcium intake reduced the risk by 13 percent, which is thought to be due to cows’ milk containing menopause-delaying sex hormones.

These results were found after adjusting for other risk factors, such as weight and breastfeeding history.

Lead author Alexandra Purdue-Smithe, from the University of Massachusetts, said: ‘Not only is early menopause associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia and osteoporosis, but it can affect women’s chances of conceiving for years before.

‘For example, a woman set to have her menopause when she is 43 could be struggling to conceive from the age of 33.

‘Scientists are looking for anything that can reduce the risk of early menopause and things like diet, which can be easily altered, have wide-ranging implications for women.

Vitamin D is found in oily fish – including salmon and tuna, egg yolks and fortified cereals

She said: ‘There is really good laboratory evidence that vitamin D increases the production of hormones which slow down ovarian ageing and slow down the rate at which a woman loses her eggs. This is important because menopause comes when a woman has no eggs left.

‘Calcium, we think, could also influence ovarian ageing, because it is present with hormones in cows’ milk like progesterone, which may also help to reduce risk of early menopause.

‘Women may reduce their risk of early menopause by eating foods rich in vitamin D and calcium, such as dairy foods and fatty fish.’

Our main natural source of vitamin D is sunlight, however, it also appears in oily fish, egg yolks and fortified cereals. Dairy products are not fortified with the vitamin in the UK.

In the US, where vitamin D is added to milk and cheese, the researchers found dairy products specifically cut the danger of an early menopause, but the effect may be limited elsewhere.

Additional studies are needed to see if vitamin D supplements affect early menopause, the researchers concluded.

Source: Daily Mail

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