Vitamin D in the body may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease
By David Liu, Ph.D.
TUESDAY June 10, 2008 (foodconsumer.org) -- Taking vitamin D supplements or getting enough exposure to sunlight may help reduce risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack), according to a new study in the June 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.
Studies have showed the rate of cardiovascular disease-related death is higher in regions located at higher latitudes and during the winter time and lower at high altitudes, according to the background information in the study report.
Exposure to sunlight triggers biosynthesis of vitamin D in the body. This means that vitamin D in the body may probably affect the risk of cardiovascular disease.
“This pattern is consistent with an adverse effect of hypovitaminosis D, which is more prevalent at higher latitudes, during the winter and at lower altitudes,” the authors write. Hypovitaminosis D is also known as vitamin deficiency.
Vitamin D, commonly known for its role in bone health, has recently been found to have a strong protective effect against a number of cancers such as breast cancer. Deficiency of this vitamin has been linked to higher risk of autoimmune disease and hypertension.
Sunshine is the major source of vitamin D.