The effect of vitamin D supplementation on serum lipids in postmenopausal women with diabetes: A randomized controlled trial

Clin Nutr. 2015 Oct;34(5):799-804. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2014.10.002. Epub 2014 Oct 13.


Background & aims: Dyslipidemia is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease that has become an increasing public health problem. Dyslipidemia is especially relevant in vulnerable populations such as postmenopausal women. Low serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D have been associated with an unfavourable lipid profile. Due to contradictory findings from intervention trials, we investigated the effect of vitamin D supplementation on serum lipids in postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes.

Methods: A total of 104 postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned in a double-blind manner to 1 of 2 groups taking a daily tablet for 6 months: a group consuming 4000 IU tablets of a vitamin D supplement (vitamin D group n = 52) or a group consuming placebo tablets (placebo group n = 52).

Results: The study was completed by 99 participants. However, as the analysis was based on an intention-to-treat approach, all 104 women were included in the final analysis. In the vitamin D group mean serum levels of 25(OH)D3 improved significantly at the end of the follow-up period (+25.5 nmol/L; P = <0.001). Our findings revealed no significant changes in low density lipoproteins, high density lipoproteins and total cholesterol concentrations, but did identify a greater decrease in serum triglycerides in the vitamin D group. The average effect of supplementation on the treated group was -34.24 mg/dL (P = 0.021), while the average treatment effect was -31.8 mg/dL (P = 0.023).

Conclusions: Our results suggest that supplementation with vitamin D (4000 IU/d) may have a beneficial effect on serum triglyceride levels without otherwise affecting levels of other lipids.

Trial registration:; identifier NCT01019642.

Keywords: Postmenopausal women; Serum lipids; Vitamin D supplementation.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Postmenopause / blood*
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin D / blood


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Triglycerides
  • Vitamin D
  • C-Reactive Protein

Associated data