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HHS HealthBeat (February 9, 2012)

Vitamin D and older women

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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Vitamin D can help to preserve bone, so it can be good for older women. But a new study indicates something the vitamin can’t do – help them to live longer.

Researcher Charles Eaton of Brown University examined about 10 years of data on about 2,400 postmenopausal women, to see if women who with more vitamin D lived longer. But that’s not what his closer look found:

“Once you adjusted for the other known risk factors for mortality, then this association was no longer present.” (6 seconds)

Eaton suspects vitamin D got soaked up in fat, because the lack of benefit was most noticeable in women with broader bellies.

The research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: February 9, 2012