Low vitamin D boosts heart attack risk

January 8, 2008 in Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements

Low vitamin D boosts heart attack risk

Having low levels of vitamin D may increase a person's risk of heart attack, heart failure and stroke, say researchers from Havard Medical School.

In this study, 1,739 people were followed for five years to determine whether vitamin D was related to heart health. Blood samples were analyzed for levels of this high-profile nutrient.

Those with low vitamin D were found to have about 60 percent greater risk of a heart attack, heart failure or stroke compared to those with higher levels.

The risk for heart attack, heart failure or stroke was doubled in people with both low vitamin D levels and high blood pressure.

Past studies also have suggested that higher intake of vitamin D may protect against Type 2 diabetes, a risk factor for heart disease.

Vitamin D is important for bone health because it helps the body absorb calcium. In adults, vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, and it can lead to rickets in children. Health Canada recommends 200-600 IU of vitamin D per day based on age, race and exposure to sunlight.

The body makes vitamin D when skin is exposed to sunlight. Food sources of vitamin D include eggs, fatty fish - salmon, tuna, mackerel, sea bass, and herring - as well as fortified milk, butter and margarine.

These findings were published in Circulation, a journal published by the American Heart Association.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.