Early menopause is defined as the cessation of ovarian function before the age of 45. It impacts about 10% of women and heightens risk for cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and other diseases. Research has uncovered few ways to prevent early-onset menopause.
But scientists at the University of Massachusetts have found one way to reduce the odds of early menopause – increasing intake of Vitamin D and calcium in milk. In the Nurses’ Health Study, women consuming the most milk reduced their odds of early menopause by 17%. Increasing Vitamin D intake had the biggest, positive impact, but the boost in calcium also helped.
High Vitamin D and calcium supplement intakes did not reduce the risk. This is the latest piece of evidence showing that ingesting nutrients in whole foods typically delivers greater, and more consistently positive health outcomes than taking supplements.
Purdue-Smith, A et al., “Vitamin D and calcium intake and risk of early menopause,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2017, 105:5, DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.116.145607.