Vitamin D may protect people from peripheral artery disease (PAD), a vascular disease in which fatty deposits restrict blood flow to the limbs, say researchers from New York.
In this study, 4,839 adults had their blood vitamin D levels measured and underwent a screening test for PAD that assessd blood flow to the legs.
People in the lowest levels of vitamin D were 80 percent more likely to have PAD than those in the highest levels of this "sunshine vitamin". Other vitamins - like vitamin E - that have been thought to benefit vascular health showed no beneficial effects in this study.
Other studies have indicated that vitamin D might provide heart health benefits. For example, people with low vitamin D levels were shown to have higher blood pressure in a study earlier this year.
Health Canada recommends getting 200-600 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day, depending on race, age, and exposure to sunlight. This fat-soluble vitamin is found in fatty fish such as salmon, fortified margarine, fortified orange juice and milk. A 3.5-ounce serving of salmon provides 360 IU of vitamin.
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