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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.

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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: April 18, 2014