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C.S.C, D.C.H, M.B.B.S
General Physician, Alappuzha
32 years experience
Low Vitamin D Linked to Heart Risk
Low blood levels of vitamin D are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart attack and stroke.
The 5-year research with participants in the Framingham Heart Study was published in the journal Circulation. The study, which included 1,739 people, average age 59 years, found that those with the lowest levels of vitamin D had a 62 percent greater risk of a cardiovascular event than those with the next highest levels.
An hour or so of sunlight on the skin each week allows the skin to produce blood levels of about 30 nanograms of vitamin D per liter of blood, more than enough to prevent a deficiency such as rickets.
Food sources of vitamin D include fortified milk and oily fishes such as salmon.
Recommendations from the Institute of Medicine in the United States call for a daily intake of vitamin D ranging from 200 International Units (IU) for young people, to 400 IU for the middle-aged, to 600 IU for older people. But getting that amount from food and sunlight may not be easy. A glass of fortified milk contains only about 100 IU of vitamin D. The suggested recommendation is 1,000 - 2,000 IU.
The cardiovascular risk associated with low vitamin D levels was especially greater for people who also had high blood pressure. Their incidence of cardiovascular events was double that of people with higher blood levels of vitamin D.
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