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Vitamin D


DisclaimerThis article is intended for informational purposes and is not intended to replace a one-on-one medical consultation with a professional. WLM researches and shares information and advice from our own research and advisors. We encourage every woman to research, ask questions and speak to a trusted health care professional to make her own best decisions.

What is it

Vitamin D is considered to be one of the most important vitamins for women going through Menopause and beyond. Vitamin D is naturally produced by your body when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin, which is why you may have heard it being referred to as the “sunshine vitamin”. It is a fat-soluble (meaning it dissolves in fats and oils) vitamin that is primarily found in two main forms, vitamin D3 (most effective) and D2. Vitamin D’s helps the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from your gut, and these nutrients are critical to keep muscles, teeth and bones strong and healthy. This is especially important in the years before, during, and after the menopause as a lack of Estrogen weakens your bones.

There are three ways to unsure that you maintain adequate levels of Vitamin D: sunlight exposure, supplements and food intake. Natural sources of vitamin D are oily fish (salmon, mackerel, and sardines), red mea, egg yolks and foods that are fortified with Vitamin D (Milk, orange juice, some bread and cereals)A vitamin D deficiency symptoms may include tiredness, weakness, muscle and bone pain, poorer skin ­healing, general “low” feeling and could cause osteomalacia (softening of the bones) in adults.

How does it help

Osteoporosis In the years before, during, and after the menopause, Estrogen rapidly declines. Estrogen is­ the key hormone for protecting and maintaining bone density, and this rapid decline means women are more affected by a loss of bone strength and a greater risk of developing Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is identified when the bones have weakened to a severe extent and the risk of them breaking easily (and frequently) is very high. Vitamin D helps to absorb calcium and phosphorus from the intestine into the blood. Calcium and phosphorus are important constituent of the bone and are needed for mineralisation of collagen within the bone. Vitamin D helps bone to achieve its peak mineralisation capacity so that bone remains strong and does not break (fractures) easily.

Muscle and joint pain Similar to the bones, vitamin D also helps the muscles to maintain their strength. Muscle weakness can cause microtrauma within the muscle fibers or muscles can even rupture when Vitamin D is severely deficient. Around 40% -60% of patients with generalised muscle pain and joint pain have vitamin D deficiency.

Mental Health Many researchers believe that vitamin D is neuroprotective and vital to healthy brain function. Low Vitamin D level is one of the important cause of anxiety and depression especially in menopausal women. Studies suggest it might play an important role in regulating mood and warding off anxiety and depression.


Vitamin D absorption is decreased when weight loss medicines like Orlistat. Vitamin D level is also decreased in the body by steroids. You should be careful when taking Vitamin D along with thiazides (anti-hypertensive medicines) because they can act together to increase the blood level of calcium excessively. Vitamin D can increase the absorption of supplements other than calcium. It can increase the absorption of Magnesium, Copper, Zinc, Iron, etc. Therefore, the dosage of other supplements may need a dose adjustment if you are receiving Vitamin D supplements.

Side effects

Taking too much Vitamin D supplements can occur when you take it for prolonged period. Vitamin D when excess causes Hypercalcemia and symptoms like constipation, excess thirst, excess urination, confusion can occur.

Scientific Evidence

What else you should know

Pregnant women, African Americans, Hispanics, and obese adults are at risk of having low vitamin D levels. Similarly, people living in cold conditions, occupation involving indoor activities, kidney or other chronic diseases are at increased risk of Vitamin D deficiency.


What are supplements

“Supplements” is an umbrella term encompassing vitamins, minerals, and botanicals that support our body’s functions


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Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Dawson-Hughes B, Staehelin HB, Orav JE, Stuck AE, Theiler R, Wong JB, Egli A, Kiel DP, Henschkowski J. Fall prevention with supplemental and active forms of vitamin D: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMJ. 2009 Oct 1;339:b3692.

Boulkrane MS, Fedotova J, Kolodyaznaya V, Micale V, Drago F, van den Tol AJM, Baranenko D. Vitamin D and Depression in Women: A Mini-review. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2020;18(4):288-300. doi: 10.2174/1570159X17666191108111120. PMID: 31701847; PMCID: PMC7327938.

Chauhan K, Shahrokhi M, Huecker MR. Vitamin D. [Updated 2022 Jul 5]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from:

Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, 2010.

Robien K, Cutler GJ, Lazovich D. Vitamin D intake and breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women: the Iowa Women’s Health Study. Cancer causes & control. 2007 Sep 1;18(7):775-82.

Written & Reviewed By
Dr BalKrishna Subedi
Dr BalKrishna Subedi
Women Like Me Team
Women Like Me Team
Last Updated
August 5, 2022 9:23 AM