Vitamin D May Lower Heart Attack Risk

June 10, 2008 04:30 PM
by Lindsey Chapman
A new study suggests that men who are vitamin D deficient have an increased risk of experiencing a fatal heart attack.

30-Second Summary

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston studied hundreds of men over a 10-year period to examine the role of vitamin D in heart health.

At the beginning of the study, participants submitted a blood sample to test for vitamin D levels. The men had no history of heart disease, had experienced a heart attack at some point or died of heart disease during the course of the study.

After tracking participants and looking at the blood work, researchers found that men who were vitamin D deficient had a 109 percent higher risk of experiencing a heart attack than those who had sufficient levels, after considering other risk factors like smoking.

Vitamin D is commonly found in fortified milk and fatty fish like salmon. The body also produces vitamin D when skin is exposed to sunlight. This study could explain why heart attack rates rise in the winter.

This latest information about vitamin D adds to a growing body of research that the nutrient may have multiple health benefits. It could also protect against diseases like colon and breast cancer, peripheral artery disease, tuberculosis and type 1 diabetes.

Headline Links: Benefits from the “sunshine vitamin”

Related: Benefits of Vitamin D, heart attack prevention

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Reference: Heart attack, vitamin D resources


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