Posted on 22 September 2022
Post-menopausal women should take vitamin D and calcium supplements, say scientists
Every post-menopausal woman should take a calcium and vitamin D supplement, say scientists. After reviewing all available evidence, they have some recommendations to improve women’s bone health after menopause.
Women after menopause are more likely to develop bone health problems, including osteopenia and osteoporosis. In most cases, it’s caused by a lack of oestrogen, a hormone that reduces during the menopause.
Scientists conducted a literature review, where they read and graded all evidence. After doing so, they’ve developed a series of recommendations for every woman who has been through the menopause:
- Women should stop smoking
- Drinking alcohol should be limited
- Women should eat a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals
- Calcium and vitamin D supplementation should be started in all women of the postmenopausal age group, whether they have osteoporosis or not
The researchers are concerned that there is a lack of awareness of the dangers of poor bone health. They want every woman to be made aware of osteoporosis and how lifestyle changes can improve bone health.
Alongside changing your diet and reducing smoking and drinking alcohol, all women should exercise to improve bone health. Weight-bearing exercises have the most significant positive impact on bone strength, they found. Evidence shows that yoga can also have a positive effect on bone health.
Start taking supplements for osteoporosis, say experts
Vitamin D deficiency is closely related to poor bone health, the scientists found. But there’s no need to get a diagnosis; it’s safe to take both vitamin D and calcium supplements straight away.
“Calcium and vitamin D supplements are first-line treatments for postmenopausal osteoporosis,” said the scientists. After checking the evidence, they
Vitamin D and calcium work together to help slow bone loss. Calcium is a critical building block of bone, and vitamin D is essential for your body to absorb and use calcium.
While it’s possible to get the calcium you require from your diet, it‘s more difficult – and in some cases, impossible – to get the vitamin D you need, particularly during autumn and winter. It’s why the NHS recommends that everyone takes a vitamin D supplement between October and March.
If you’re wondering how much vitamin D and calcium you need for osteoporosis, check out our guide. We provide information on safe amounts of vitamin D and calcium for better bone health.
Building stronger bones
The evidence review makes it clear that every woman should get serious about improving bone strength. After menopause, bone density and strength can fall quickly, leading to osteoporosis. But as the evidence review shows, it’s not inevitable.
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