News Flash > Cardiovascular Health

 

Reducing Heart Disease Risk with Vitamin D

Reported March 18, 2010


(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Treating heart disease can be as simple as adding Vitamin D supplements to your diet. Researchers have found a link between vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk for coronary artery disease.

Two new studies show vitamin D supplements can prevent or reduce a person’s risk for cardiovascular disease along with other chronic conditions. The first study followed a group of 9,400 patients with reported low initial vitamin D levels for over a period of a year. Upon final examination, 47 percent of the patients who increased their vitamin D levels showed a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease.

The second study placed over 31,000 patients into three groups based on differing levels of vitamin D. In each group, the patients that increased their vitamin D levels to 43 nanograms per milliliter of blood showed lower rates of death, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, heart failure and high blood pressure.

 

 

Currently, a normal level of vitamin D is considered to be 30 nanograms per milliliter. However, "It is very important to discover that the ‘normal’ levels are too low," study author Heidi May, Ph.D., a cardiovascular clinical epidemiologist with Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Muray, Utah, was quoted as saying. "Giving physicians a higher level to look for gives them one more tool in identifying patients at-risk and offering them better treatment."

Patients can determine their vitamin D levels with a blood test, and treatment is as easy as using supplements or increasing exposure to sunlight while using sunscreen as a safety precaution.

SOURCE: American College of Cardiology 59th annual scientific session, Atlanta, Ga., March 16, 2010