Here’s One More Reason to Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Vitamin D

A senior couple can be seen eating breakfast, which includes orange juice.
pixelfit/Getty Images

More than 50% of women in the U.S. over the age of 50 are affected by metabolic syndrome, a batch of health issues that include excess body fat around the waist, increased blood sugar and abnormal cholesterol levels.

Together, they increase a person’s risk of stroke, diabetes and heart disease.

But a new Brazilian research study of postmenopausal women between 45 and 75 years old suggests there’s a way to combat metabolic syndrome.

Make sure you get enough vitamin D.

According to professor Eliana Aguiar Petri Nahas, one of the study’s authors, “We measured the participants’ blood vitamin D levels and also analyzed parameters indicating MetS [metabolic syndrome]. We found that the lower the level of blood vitamin D, the greater the occurrence of MetS.”   

The professor says it’s possible for women to reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome by maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D.  

The study’s authors acknowledge more research is needed to support the initial results.

Metabolic Syndrome and the Link to Vitamin D

According to the Vitamin D Council, different organizations have different recommendations for the amount adults need. It ranges from 600 to 5,000 IU of vitamin D per day.

If you think you may be vitamin-D deficient, are at risk for metabolic syndrome or suspect you may be symptomatic, schedule an appointment with your doctor for an evaluation.

In the meantime, give your vitamin D levels a boost for free with long walks in the park or anything else that regularly gets you out in the sunlight for a while — just don’t forget the sunscreen!

You can also eat food high in vitamin D, like yogurt, salmon, canned fish and egg yolks.

Vitamin D supplements also are an option, but check with your doctor before you start gulping down fistfuls of vitamins.

According to the National Institutes of Health, vitamin D supplements can lead to kidney stones and also adversely interact with various types of medication.

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She loves telling readers about affordable ways to stay healthy, so look her up on Twitter (@lisah) if you’ve got a tip to share.