Vitamin D protects against death from heart disease and stroke

(Image credit: denn @Flickr)

heart anatomy paintingThe evidence connecting Vitamin D deficiency with chronic disease continues to mount. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to osteoporosis, multiple cancers, musculoskeletal diseases, thyroid disease, depression, and Type II diabetes. This is especially troublesome since several studies have found that most Americans are Vitamin D deficient.

Now, a long-term study has examined the connection between blood Vitamin D levels and death from cardiovascular disease – and the results were dramatic:

Serum Vitamin D levels were measured at the beginning of the study, and subjects were followed for 26 years. The researches found that those individuals with the highest blood levels of Vitamin D were 24% less likely to die from any cardiovascular disease, and 52% less likely to die from stroke.1

This new data supports results from the Framingham Heart Study, in which subjects were followed for 5 years – even after 5 years, those with low blood levels of vitamin D had a 60% greater risk of heart disease.2

How might Vitamin D affect cardiovascular health? Vitamin D localizes to most tissues and cells in the human body and is involved in several vital processes – to name a few - insulin production, immune cell function, inflammation, and heart contractility. Vitamin D deficiency could possibly lead to a pro-inflammatory environment, which would promote cardiovascular disease.3

How can you get adequate Vitamin D? Food sources of Vitamin D are scarce, and it is almost impossible for your body to produce sufficient Vitamin D from a safe amount of sun exposure, especially if you work indoors and don’t live in the tropics. So a Vitamin D supplement is your best bet. Remember – the standard dose of Vitamin D found in most multivitamins is not enough to assure adequate blood Vitamin D levels. In order to support all of Vitamin D’s important actions in the body, additional supplementation is necessary. Be cautious of Vitamin D supplements geared toward bone health – they may also contain excessive amounts of calcium, which can result in poor absorption of other minerals. Dr. Fuhrman’s Osteo-Sun was designed to deliver adequate amounts of Vitamin D along with a low dose of calcium in order to promote bone health without causing adverse effects associated with excess calcium intake.

 

References:

1. Kilkkinen A et al. Am J Epidemiol. 2009 Oct 15;170(8):1032-9. Epub 2009 Sep 17. Vitamin D status and the risk of cardiovascular disease death.

2. Wang TJ. Circulation. 2008 Jan 29;117(4):503-11. Epub 2008 Jan 7. Vitamin D deficiency and risk of cardiovascular disease.

3. Holick MF. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Dec;80(6 Suppl):1678S-88S. Sunlight and vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disease.

 

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Comments (5) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Matt Stone - November 10, 2009 11:47 AM

But isn't it contradictory that Vitamin D is found in highest concentration in the very foods that DiseaseProof warns against?

Deana Ferreri - November 10, 2009 3:52 PM

There is very little Vitamin D available from food. Our predominant source of Vitamin D is what the body produces in response to sunshine, and unless you are spending a lot of time in the sun, supplements are required.

Michael - November 10, 2009 4:31 PM

Other than cod liver oil, I don't know of any foods that contain Vitamin D. Milk is supplemented with vitamin D.

Trisha R - January 15, 2010 2:13 AM

Mushrooms contain 4 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D per serving, and this can be increased to 100 percent simply by exposing the mushrooms to sunlight for just five minutes. Vitamin D: Most ppl are deficient:-causes serious health problems. Vit D myths, facts and statistics http://bit.ly/4MoPYj
Vit D2 is vegan

kavita patel - November 14, 2011 1:03 PM

can you please tell me who painted the painting of the heart

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