Early Menopause is generally detrimental to a woman’s health and mental well being. Thus it is important that factors that delay early menopause are exposed and women are prescribed appropriate remedies.
Limitations in the reported study
This particular study (link below) tried to differentiate Vitamin D and Calcium intake through food and through supplements. The article that talks about this study reveals some key limitations of the study, with respect to the number of people who take large quantities of supplements, enrolled as well as the fact that the subjects are predominantly Caucasian. Because the diet data was self-reported, that offers a problem as well. It is a little saddening to see an NIH funded study take on such a form.
They did account for factors such as smoking, alcohol, BMI etc.
For many of the explanations though, there are only theories and hypotheses offered. This, I am sure, is because it will take thorough, large scale studies before they can be proven.
Despite the fact that at least the article tries to conclude that food-based intake of Calcium and Vitamin D is the primary driver of the push-back on early menopause, as opposed to supplemental intake, I am not sure the study lays this out for us to subscribe to, with enough confidence.
In general, it appears that taking in recommended levels of Calcium and Vitamin D, either through food, supplements, or in the case of Vitamin D, safe exposure to sun (a problem for Caucasians with their high risk to skin cancer, and perhaps a factor in the recruitment for the study, which if true, is perhaps explained better in the paper, which unfortunately sits behind a paid wall), reduces the risk of early menopause.
As stated, early menopause comes with significant health and financial burden to the women and health systems in the general. Therefore, not only should the results of such studies be used, they should be expanded to solidify evidence, and diversify it based on race and other factors.
- A summary of the study: http://www.medpagetoday.com/endocrinology/menopause/65189