Vitamin D cuts risk of heart disease and diabetes in elderly

February 18, 2010 in Diabetes & Diabetes Prevention, Heart Health, Nutrition for Older Adults, Nutrition Topics in the News

Vitamin D cuts risk of heart disease and diabetes in elderly

Vitamin D makes the news yet again this week.  Researchers from the University of Warwick in the UK have found that middle aged and elderly people with high blood levels of vitamin D may have a 33 per cent lower risk of developing heart disease and may be half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

Researchers conducted the first ever systematic review and meta-analysis looking at the association between blood levels of vitamin D and cardiovascular disease (CVD), type-2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. 

They reviewed 28 studies involving almost 100,000 participants, both men and women from a variety of ethnic groups.  Researchers found that the highest blood levels of the vitamin were associated with a 33 per cent reduced risk of CVD, a 55 per cent reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes, and a 51 per cent reduction in the risk of metabolic syndrome, compared with the lowest blood levels of vitamin D.

While the findings add to an already long list of health benefits of vitamin D, researchers noted that additional controlled trials are needed to investigate the association between vitamin D status and chronic disease before recommendations can be made.

It’s thought that many Canadians are deficient in the sunshine vitamin thanks to our Northern latitude, and long, dark winters.  For more information on vitamin D, and ways to boost your intake, check out Leslie Beck’s Foods That Fight Disease.

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