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Vitamin D May Lower the Risk of Death by Heart Disease

Vitamin D-sometimes referred to as "the sunshine vitamin" because our bodies process it from the sun-has been shown in a recent study to lower the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, especially in people with metabolic syndrome.

The researchers were based at the University of Birmingham in England. Their findings were published in the May 2012 issue of Diabetes Care.

The data set included 1,801 people with metabolic syndrome who participated in the Ludwigshafen Risk and Cardiovascular Health Study. At the beginning of the study, the researchers took blood samples of all of the participants and then followed them for 7.7 years.

At the end of the study, 462 deaths had occurred. The researchers discovered that the people with optimal levels of vitamin D had a 75% reduced risk of all-cause mortality and a 66% reduced risk of death by cardiovascular disease.

Specifically for cardiovascular disease related deaths, there was an 85% reduced risk of sudden death and a 76% reduced risk of congestive heart failure. They saw no reduction for risk for myocardial infarction.

Vitamin D has been associated with a wide range of health benefits, including improved kidney health, reductions in skin cancer risk, reductions in the risk of osteoporosis, improved cardiovascular health, and reduced risk of 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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