Scientists find how vitamin D delivers on heart health

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In a study from the University of South Australia, scientists found that vitamin D is not only important for bones that could suffer, but also important for cardio health.

They have identified genetic evidence for the role of vitamin D deficiency in causing heart disease.

Globally, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death worldwide, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives per year.

Free from the sun, vitamin D delivers a natural source for one of the hormones essential to our bodies, especially the bones.

Low concentrations of vitamin D are common in many parts of the world, with data from the UK Biobank showing that 55 percent of participants have low levels of vitamin D (<50 nmol/L) and 13 percent have a severe deficiency (<25 nmol/L).

Low levels of vitamin D are recorded by an estimated 23 percent of people in Australia, 24 percent of people in the US, and 37 percent of people in Canada.

In the study, researchers found that people with vitamin D deficiency are more likely to suffer from heart disease and higher blood pressure than those with normal levels of vitamin D.

For participants with the lowest concentrations, the risk of heart disease was more than double that seen for those with sufficient concentrations.

By increasing vitamin D-deficient individuals to levels of at least 50 nmol/L, they estimate that 4.4 percent of all heart disease cases could have been prevented.

The team says appreciating the role of vitamin D deficiency in heart health could help reduce the global burden of heart disease.

Severe deficiency is relatively rare, but in settings where this does occur it is very important to be proactive and avoid negative effects on the heart.

People can also get vitamin D from food, including oily fish, eggs, and fortified foods and drinks.

This said, food is unfortunately a relatively poor source of vitamin D, and even an otherwise healthy diet does not typically contain enough.

If people don’t get any vitamin D through the sun, this is one of the rare nutrients for which they sometimes need to take a daily supplement to keep up with the requirements.

If you care about supplements, please read studies that every person with diabetes should take this vitamin, and vitamin B could help treat drug-resistant high blood pressure.

For more information about heart health, please see recent studies about how to reverse heart failure with diet, and results showing Vitamin C may help treat heart rhythm problems.

The study was conducted by Elina Hyppönen et al and published in European Heart Journal.

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