Women who take vitamin D supplements lower their risk of death from heart disease by one-third.
Low levels of vitamin D in the blood have previously been correlated with higher risk of heart disease and heart attacks. Dr. Paul D. Varosy set out to determine if taking vitamin D supplements decreases this risk.
His team analyzed data from nearly 10,000 women over the age of 65 who were enrolled in a study of how often osteoporosis causes broken bones. Of these, more than 4,200 women reported that they took vitamin D supplements at the time of the study, and another 733 reported a prior history of supplement use.
After following the women for an average of nearly 11 years, researchers found that the risk of heart disease death was 31% lower in those women who were taking vitamin D at the time of the study.
The researchers note that calcium supplements, education, self-reported health status or health-related behaviors had no effect on the protection afforded by vitamin D.
42nd annual conference on Cardiovascular Disease and Epidemiology Prevention in Honolulu, Hawaii. April 23, 2002
DR. MERCOLA'S COMMENT:
An interesting study that shows that enormous potential benefit of vitamin D supplementation.
Vitamin D works by lowering insulin resistance, which is also one of the major factors leading to the number one killer in the US, heart disease. Northern countries have higher levels of heart disease and more heart attacks occur in the winter months.
Vitamin D is one of my favorite nutrients to optimize for people as it is the sunshine vitamin. If you haven't read my review of vitamin D please do.
Ideally the best way to obtain vitamin D would be from the sun. So the study would have been far better if it has actually measured these women's vitamin D levels. This is a very important test and I do it on most all of my new patients.
In the winter months, nearly everyone seems to benefit from cod liver oil supplementation which has a natural form of vitamin D. However, from May to September, for those of us who live in the US, if we have regular sun exposure it would be wise to avoid cod liver oil during this time as it is clearly possible to overdose on vitamin D.
Ideally you should have your vitamin D levels checked.