Recent research indicates that elevated levels of Vitamin D play a strong role in heart health.
improves resistance to infection, which eliminates a lot of chronic inflammation which often leads to heart attacks. There is also
evidence that Vitamin D improves the absorption of calcium in the bones, which leaves less calcium in the bloodstream to aggravate
hardening of the arteries.
A recent article in SCIENCE NEWS
reports on a ten year study of 18000 male physicians that showed that low Vitamin D levels double the risk of heart attack.
This makes lack of Vitamin D a heart disease risk factor on par with smoking and high blood pressure.
For a long time the standard recommendation has been a daily allowance of 400
international units of vitamin D per day, but new information strongly suggests that most
people should get up to 2000 units per day. Doses up to 10000
units per day are not likely to cause any toxic effects.
The sun is a potent source of vitamin D. Any time ultraviolet radiation hits the skin,
Vitamin D is synthesized naturally in the body. Unfortunately, ultraviolet radiation is
also linked to the development of skin cancer. The best way to get adequate Vitamin D may be to allow yourself
some unscreened sun exposure each day, but to use sunscreen at all other times, and to supplement your diet with
Vitamin D supplements.
It is difficult to get adequate doses of vitamin D from food alone. The two best food
sources are fatty fish and vitamin supplemented milk, but a typical glass of milk only
contains 50 to 100 international units of vitamin D. A typical serving of salmon may
contain 300 to 400 units, and a can of sardines has between 200 and 300 units.
To get a regular daily dose of vitamin D in the 1000 to 2000 international unit range, it
is probably easiest and most effective to add a daily supplement to normal good nutrition.
Vitamin D supplements (the vitamin D3 type are best) are readily available online at a reasonable
price. Considering the evidence accumulating steadily that adequate doses of vitamin D
provide substantial health benefits, this is one investment in daily supplements that may
pay significant dividends in quality and quantity of life.