Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Early Menarche

Vitamin D has received a lot of attention lately regarding its uses in treating and preventing ailments such as high blood pressure, adrenal insufficiencies, autoimmune disorders, depression, heart disease, and hypertension, to name a few.

Yet there’s another reason why vitamin D is an essential vitamin—girls who are deficient in vitamin D begin puberty at a much younger age than girls who are not, placing them at a higher risk for breast cancer.

In the late 19th century, the average age of menarche was 17. Now age 12 is considered average. While several factors may attribute to early puberty such as better medical care and nutrition, other negative factors such as chemicals in personal care items (especially xenoestrogens), added hormones in food, an increase in fat intake, and a decrease in physical activity level may affect age of menarche. One constant is known—research concluded that girls who have higher levels of vitamin D begin menstruating in their mid- to-late teenage years.

While menstruation is a healthy and important part of any woman’s life, the age at which she begins menstruating plays a vital role in her lifetime health. Girls who begin puberty early (between ages 8 and 12) are at risk of developing breast cancer due to longer exposure to estrogen, developing endometriosis, fibrocystic breast disease, PMS, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and uterine fibroids.

The Daily Recommended Intake for vitamin D for people younger than 70 years is 400 IU to 600 IU.