Health News Flash: Important New Studies on Vitamin D
Low Vitamin D Associated with Faster Decline in Cognitive Function
About 42 percent of the general U.S. population has low vitamin D levels. In addition to promoting calcium and bone health, vitamin D may also affect the brain and cognitive function. A new study by JAMA Neurology looked at the association between baseline vitamin D levels and the rate of cognitive decline in a group of ethnically diverse older adults.
Vitamin D3 Supplementation Helps Women Build Muscle Even After Menopause
A new study presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) in Las Vegas, demonstrates vitamin effectiveness in reducing degeneration and risk of fall. The study coming which came out of Sao Paulo, Brazil, now documents that vitamin D supplementation can significantly increase muscle strength and reduce the loss of body muscle mass in women as late as 12+ years after menopause.
Vitamin D deficiency is a common problem in postmenopausal women worldwide, creating muscle weakness and a greater tendency for falling. The double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted over a nine-month period. Muscle mass was estimated by total-body DXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry), as well as by handgrip strength and through a chair-rising test.
At the end of the trial, the women receiving the supplements demonstrated a significant increase (+25.3%) in muscle strength, while those receiving the placebo actually lost an average of 6.8% of muscle mass. Women not receiving Vitamin D supplements were also nearly two times as likely to fall.
“We concluded that the supplementation of Vitamin D alone provided significant protection against the occurrence of sarcopenia, which is a degenerative loss of skeletal muscle, says Dr. L.M. Cangussu, one of the lead authors of the study from the Botucatu Medical School at Sao Paulo State University.