Navigation Links
Vitamin D study suggests no mortality benefit for older women
Date:11/1/2011

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] Doctors agree that vitamin D promotes bone health, but a belief that it can also prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease and other causes of death has been a major health controversy. Consistent with advice issued last fall by the Institute of Medicine, a new study finds that vitamin D did not confer benefits against mortality in postmenopausal women after controlling for key health factors such as abdominal obesity.

"What we have is clinical trial evidence that for the most part vitamin D doesn't seem to be helpful for conditions where people thought it might," said study lead author Charles Eaton, professor of family medicine and of epidemiology in the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and a physician at Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket, R.I. "The best we can tell is that there isn't an association. Once we took into account these other factors, high levels didn't provide a benefit and low levels didn't put you at risk."

In the study, published online Oct. 26 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Eaton led an analysis of data from 2,429 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 who participated in the broad-based Women's Health Initiative study, in which Eaton and many co-authors were investigators. They tracked blood levels of vitamin D in the women and their mortality over a 10-year period. They not only looked at death from all causes but also focused on cancer and cardiovascular disease.

In all, 225 of the women died, including 79 from cardiovascular disease and 62 from cancer.

Eaton said he expected to find some protective effect against such mortality from vitamin D, and at first glance controlling only for age, ethnicity, and whether women took part in a calcium and vitamin D supplement trial that's what the data showed. But what was apparent in the data was that the women with the lowest levels of vitamin D also had a lot of other negative health indicators. The team therefore controlled for several more key health factors, such as smoking, history of cardiovascular disease, history of cancer, alcohol consumption, and waist circumference. The additional controls, especially waist circumference, which is a measure of abdominal obesity, eroded the statistical significance of vitamin D's seemingly protective effects down to nothing.

The one exception was that women with thinner waistlines (less than 35 inches) and with the lowest vitamin D levels seemed to have a greater risk of "all-cause" mortality within the 10-year analysis period. That result, however, was right on the borderline of statistical significance.

"If you are thin, this data suggest that maybe low vitamin D levels are potentially harmful and you should talk to your doctor about what to do about them," Eaton said.

Eaton said he and his co-authors can only speculate about why abdominal obesity was an especially important and powerful factor to control for in their analysis. In the study they note that abdominal obesity is associated with several negative health indicators that may overwhelm any modest benefit vitamin D might have. They also point out that fat tissue can store vitamin D, possibly meaning that women with larger waistlines are storing more of the vitamin than their blood serum levels alone would reveal.

More research into the connections between abdominal fat and the health effects of vitamin D could help resolve the question, Eaton said. He also said that a major new trial of vitamin D supplements and health called "VITAL" is getting underway and will likely inform the broader controversy about what vitamin D is good for.

For now, Eaton said, "there's not enough evidence to do anything about our vitamin D levels if it's not in regard to bone health."


'/>"/>

Contact: David Orenstein
david_orenstein@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Dont forget the vitamin A when working with its carrier protein
2. Vitamin C supplements may reduce benefit from wide range of anti-cancer drugs
3. Vitamin D a key player in overall health of several body organs, says UC Riverside biochemist
4. Lack of vitamin D linked to Parkinsons disease
5. Vitamin K does not stem BMD decline in postmenopausal women with osteopenia
6. Optimal dose of vitamin E maximizes benefits, minimizes risk
7. Lung airway cells activate vitamin D and increase immune response
8. Could vitamin D save us from radiation?
9. Vitamin C lowers levels of inflammation biomarker considered predictor of heart disease
10. Vitamin D found to fight placental infection
11. Calcium and vitamin D may not be the only protection against bone loss
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/10/2016)... , March 10, 2016   Unisys Corporation (NYSE: ... Border Protection (CBP) is testing its biometric identity solution ... Diego to help identify certain non-U.S. citizens leaving ... The test, designed to help determine the efficiency and accuracy ... in February and will run until May 2016. --> ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... Germany , March 9, 2016 ... country,s government identified that more than 23,000 public service ... or had been receiving their salary unlawfully.    ... African country,s government identified that more than 23,000 public ... name or had been receiving their salary unlawfully.    ...
(Date:3/8/2016)...   Valencell , the leading innovator in ... secured $11M in Series D financing. The investment ... fund being launched by UAE-based financial services company ... TDF Ventures and WSJ Joshua Fund. Valencell plans ... growth and accelerate its pioneering innovation in accurate ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... WEDI, the nation’s leading ... today announced that Charles W. Stellar has been named by the WEDI Board of ... January 2016. As an executive leader with more than 35 years of experience in ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... Last week, Callan Capital, an integrated ... entrepreneurs, held The Future of San Diego Life Science event at the Estancia La ... community attended the event with speakers Dr. Rich Heyman, former CEO of Aragon and ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... 2016 Oxitec CEO Hadyn Parry ... 10:15 a.m. ET before the United States House Committee on ... can play in controlling the spread of the Aedes ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150630/227348 ) ... self-limiting gene. Trials in Brazil , ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... May 20, 2016 , ... The ... 10 of its most experienced veterinary clients have treated over 100 of their own ... edge technology to provide the highest level of care for their patients. , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: