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Optimal Blood Levels of Vitamin D Identified

Researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah, have established an optimal blood level of vitamin D for the maximum protection against disease.

The study has not yet been published but was presented at the American Heart Association conference in Orlando, Florida, which took place between November 12 and November 16, 2011.

For this study, the researchers measured 25-hydroxyvitamin D blood levels in 132,000 American participants. Participants with levels in the 61-80 ng/mL range had a 52% reduced risk of diabetes when compared with those who had vitamin D levels below 20 ng/mL.

Participants with vitamin D levels in the 81-100 ng/mL range had a 36% reduced incidence of hypertension compared to those deficient in vitamin D.

The researchers also found that higher levels of vitamin D were correlated with reduced instances of heart failure, depression, coronary artery disease, kidney failure and prior stroke.

One important point put forward in this study is that vitamin D levels can be too high. The researchers found that people with vitamin D levels higher than 100 ng/mL had a significantly higher risk of arterial fibrillation. However, out of the 132,000 participants, only 291 individuals or 0.22% of the population studied had vitamin D levels over 100 ng/mL.

Beyond what the researchers showed here, vitamin D has been linked to numerous other health benefits. These include reductions in skin cancer, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, improved cardiovascular health, combating diabetes, and improving age related eye degeneration.

Dietary 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 D supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.

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