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Low Vitamin D Levels Associated With Increased Risk of Heart Disease in Diabetics

Diabetes brings a host of health problems, one of the most serious of which is heart disease. A recent study suggests that low blood levels of vitamin D may be associated with an increased risk of high cholesterol levels and heart attack.

When vitamin D levels are low, white blood cells called macrophages are more likely to adhere to blood vessel walls. This leads to the development of atherosclerotic plaques that clog blood vessels.

Participants in the study included 43 adults with type-2 diabetes and 25 who did not have diabetes. All were approximately the same age and weight.

Participants with diabetes who also had low vitamin D levels had the highest percentage of macrophage cells stuck to the walls of their blood vessels. The researchers examined other possible causes for this, including blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes control, body weight, and race, but could find no correlation other than low vitamin D levels.

This study was conducted at the Washington University School of Medicine and published on November 9, 2012, in The Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Vitamin D is essential to maintaining overall health. Previous studies have shown it to be associated with improved kidney health, reductions in skin cancer, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, improved cardiovascular health, combating diabetes, and improving age related eye degeneration.

Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process vitamin D as we age. A high quality vitamin D3 supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.

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