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Vitamin D May Protect Your Heart

Known risk factors for heart attacks include obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, stress, and diabetes. A new study indicates that we may need to add vitamin D deficiency to the list.

The study was conducted by scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health and appears in the June 2008 issue of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine. It found that men with vitamin D deficiency have an elevated risk of heart attack.

Scientists studied 18,225 men aged 40 to 75 enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Each man gave blood samples at the beginning of the study (1993) and over the next ten year 495 of them had a heart attack.

Researchers compared these 495 men to 900 men with no history of heart disease, and found that low blood levels of vitamin D equated to a 142% increased risk of heart attack. After adjusting for other factors, the risk was still 109% greater.

Vitamin D is produced in the body through exposure to sunlight. Many people - especially those living in northern climates - do not get enough vitamin D each day. If you can’t get more time in the sun, a good way to boost vitamin D levels is by taking a quality supplement.

Source: Archives of Internal Medicine
Volume 168, Number 11, Pages 1174-1180
"25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Risk of Myocardial Infarction in Men - A Prospective Study"
Authors: E. Giovannucci, Y. Liu, B.W. Hollis, E.B. Rimm
Previous article Vitamin C Deficiency May Have Negative Effect on Cognitive Function

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