Thoughts on Better Aging

Using Vitamin D to Maintain Muscle Mass after Menopause

October 21st, 2015

New research shows Vitamin D can help stop muscle mass loss in postmenopausal women.

According to new research from the Botucatu Medical School of Brazil’s Sao Paolo State University, Vitamin D may help women rebuild and maintain healthy muscle mass after menopause.

The researchers shared what they learned last month at the 2015 Annual Meeting of The North American Menopause Society. They reported that in their study group of 160 women between ages 50 and 65, the women who were given a daily 1000IU cholecalciferol Vitamin D supplement showed a 45 percent increase in muscle strength after 9 months, compared to a 23 percent loss of strength in the placebo group. The women who took supplements also maintained their muscle mass, while the women in the control group lost an average of 6.8 percent of their muscle mass.

Why Muscle Mass Matters

Muscles mass isn’t just important for looking fit and toned. It also helps women stay active, which can reduce frailty and decrease the risk of falls. Since many menopausal women suffer from weakened bones as well as decreasing muscle mass, falls can be especially dangerous.

Maintaining muscle mass can also help menopausal women stave off weight gain by supporting a healthy metabolism. After all, muscle burns more calories than fat.

Other Benefits of Vitamin D

Vitamin D can do a whole lot more than help maintain muscle mass and strength. It also helps strengthen bones by ensuring the body can absorb calcium from food efficiently. So, Vitamin D can actually protect against fractures in two ways.

Vitamin D is also necessary for a variety of cellular processes. Research suggests that a lack of healthy Vitamin D may play a role in many conditions such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, hypertension, depression, heart problems, and arthritis.

Where to Get More Vitamin D

Technically, Vitamin D isn’t actually a nutrient like other Vitamins. Instead, it is a hormone. Normally Vitamin D can be synthesized in the skin after exposure to sunlight. However, you can also get Vitamin D from your diet. Possible sources include:

  • Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese
  • Sardines and salmon
  • Greens like bok choy and kale
  • Fortified orange juice or cereal
  • Walnuts and flax seeds
  • Supplements

If you choose to take a Vitamin D supplement, it is a good idea to get blood serum testing first to make sure you are taking the correct dose of Vitamin D. This will help prevent any side effects that may be associated with Vitamin D overdose. You should also be careful to purchase your nutritional supplements from a trusted provider such as Renew Woman™, so that you know the supplements are effective and unadulterated.

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