New evidence from the Framingham Heart Study reveals people with low levels of vitamin D are twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke within five years.
The Framingham Heart Study, the longest running follow-up of thousands of healthy adults in Boston, Massachusetts, has linked many lifestyle factors to increased heart disease risk.
When compared to their peers with higher blood levels of vitamin D, people with low blood levels of vitamin D were found to have a two-fold increase in heart attack and stroke risk.
People with the low vitamin D levels were also more likely to smoke and eat too much high fat, high sodium fast food.
These findings add to the growing body of evidence that people lacking vitamin D have a higher risk of certain cancers and diabetes.
"Vitamin D deficiency is an emerging cardiovascular risk factor, which should be screened for and treated," says the study's main author.
The Canadian Cancer Society recommends 1,000 IU (international units) of the vitamin D daily during the fall and winter months. Many Canadians get too little vitamin D from sun exposure, especially in the winter months.
Supplements are an important source of vitamin D as it's difficult to get the recommended amount from food alone.
To determine the dose of vitamin D you need to take, add up how much you're already getting from your multivitamin and calcium supplements. Choose a vitamin D supplement that contains vitamin D-3, instead of vitamin D-2 which is less potent.
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.