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HHS HealthBeat (April 18, 2014)

Vitamin D and cholesterol

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

Vitamin D is good for muscles, nerves, immune protection and bones. And there is an indication of benefit against cholesterol in postmenopausal women – although not much.

Researcher Dr. Peter Schnatz of The Reading Hospital near Philadelphia found this in data on 600 women over six years. Some got a combination supplement containing vitamin D; others got an inactive substitute.

“While the changes we saw were modest – and certainly not to the same degree as would be expected from medications designed to lower cholesterol concentrations – they were significant.”

The study could not tell if the improvement was enough to make a difference in heart health, but Schnatz says it’s an interesting topic worthy of further investigation.

The study in the journal Menopause was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

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

Last revised: April 18, 2014