Menopause and aging are associated with changes in circulating gonadal steroid hormones, insulin sensitivity, body composition, and also lifestyle and social coordinates. Vitamin D status influences different metabolic adjustments, aside from calcium–phosphorus and bone metabolism. The main blood marker used to measure endogenous vitamin D status is 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Aging is associated with increases in serum parathyroid hormone and alkaline phosphatase, and a decrease of serum calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D metabolites. 25-Hydroxyvitamin D status is also influenced by the circannual rhythm of sun irradiation. Results of clinical association studies have not correlated with intervention trials, experimental studies, and/or meta-analyses regarding the role of vitamin D on different outcomes in women during their second half of life and the vitamin D supplementation dose needed to improve clinical endpoints. Discordant results have been related to the method used to measure vitamin D, the studied population (i.e., sociodemographics and ethnicity), study designs, and biases of analyses. Vitamin D supplementation with cholecalciferol or calcifediol may improve some metabolic variables and clinical outcomes in young postmenopausal and older women. Studies seem to suggest that calcifediol may have some advantages over other forms of vitamin D supplementation. Further studies are needed to define interventions with supplements and effective food fortification.
- 25-hydroxyvitamin D
- Vitamin D