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Vitamin D May Significantly Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease

While it's well known that vitamin D is important for healthy bones, recent research suggests that it is also very important for heart health. A study conducted in Denmark suggests that vitamin D deficiency may increase risk of death from heart disease by up to 81%.

The study is the largest of its kind to date, including 10,170 men and women. After taking blood samples to measure vitamin D levels, the researchers kept track of all of the participants for 29 years.

Their conclusions? When compared with adequate vitamin D levels, people with low levels were 40% more likely to have ischemic heart disease, 64% more likely to suffer from a heart attack, 57% more likely to die prematurely, and 81% more likely to die from heart disease.

The researchers also conducted an analysis of 17 studies that examined the link between low vitamin D and ischemic heart disease and 18 other studies that looked at the association between low vitamin D and premature death.

They found that the risk of ischemic heart disease and premature death were 39% and 46% higher for individuals with the lowest vitamin D levels compared to individuals with the highest vitamin D levels.

The study was published online ahead of print on August 30, 2012 in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology and was conducted by researchers at Copenhagen University Hospital.

Vitamin D is one of the nutrients 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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