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A large percentage of the population would benefit from higher levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D plays an essential role in the prevention of some 20 common cancers, the prevention of bone problems, modulation of neuromuscular and immune function, reduction of inflammation, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes. Vitamin D also seems to improve infertility, weight control and memory.

The D story

Vitamin D and Heart Disease

Vitamin D has been correlated with a wide variety of diseases and medical conditions, which is part of why this life-giving nutrient has been in the media so much in recent years. The largest analysis to date about the link between vitamin D and heart disease is currently being reported on in the media, and it’s worth taking a closer look here. The facts established in the study are as follows:

  • “Vitamin D deficiency was identified in seven in ten patients undergoing coronary angiography - an imaging test used to see how blood flows through the arteries in the heart.”
  • It was also “associated with higher prevalence of coronary artery disease, with a 32 per cent higher occurrence in those with the lowest levels.”
  • “Almost 20 per cent more severe cases affecting multiple vessels among those with less of the nutrient.”
  • “Patients with the lowest levels of vitamin D had nearly double the rate of clogged arteries as those with normal levels.”

Those are impressive and dramatic figures, but they still put the findings squarely in the realm of correlation rather than causation, which if you’ve been reading articles on this site then you that causation is what we’re really aiming for. That’s why the most exciting quote from the article about the study is the following:

“Cardiologist Dr Monica Verdoia, of Eastern Piedmont University in Novara, Italy, said: ‘Present results suggest vitamin D deficiency to be the cause rather than the consequence of hardening of the arteries.’”

Lest we get too excited, however, the good doctor also goes on to say that “Although evidence of benefits with vitamin D supplementation in cardiovascular outcomes are still lacking, strategies to raise natural vitamin D should probably be advised in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.” Which merely goes to show that we need to keep supporting additional research to fully reveal the benefits of vitamin D to optimal health. You may also want to read our previous article about Sunshine and Cardiovascular Health, which explores how sunshine can improve heart health even apart from vitamin D.

Sources for Further Reading:

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