Danish researchers have proven that having low levels of vitamin D is linked with a significantly higher risk of both heart attack and early death. It is a striking health breakthrough that further paints this nutrient as crucial in disease prevention.
The study comprised over 10,000 adults as part of the “Copenhagen City Heart Study.” In this group of people, researchers found a strong statistical link between having insufficient levels of vitamin D (the “sunshine vitamin”) and developing heart disease and dying too young.
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Vitamin D deficiency has been linked most strongly with weakened bones. But, now several “population studies” show that it may be linked to a more life-threatening problem: ischemic heart disease, which includes heart attack, arteriosclerosis, and angina. Still others have found that this deficiency can spike blood pressure.
Researchers found that low levels of vitamin D led to:
— 40% higher risk of ischemic heart disease
— 64% higher risk of heart attack
— 57% higher risk of early death
— An incredible 81% higher risk of death (from heart disease)
These risks stay true even after adjusting for other risk factors. Researchers believe there could be two reasons: that not having enough vitamin D itself puts the heart at risk. Also, low levels of D could signify not being healthy overall. The next step for them is to figure out the connection; the “why” part of this.
We could be on the verge of an enormous finding that could reverberate around the globe. After all, heart disease is the biggest cause of death in the world, with at least 17 million people passing away every year from it.
If one solution to this is getting adequate exposure to sunlight on your skin, it is a free way to prevent heart disease. In addition, this study highlights the profound importance of taking vitamin-D supplements when you’re unable to get about 15 minutes of sun exposure a day (without sunscreen). Talk to your doctor about what might be a good daily dosage for your individual needs. Also, more and more food is being manufactured with higher levels of vitamin D, particularly dairy products.
A good rule of thumb: when you can get more vitamin D, just do it.