This time of year, the season of lights is celebrated in the Northern Hemisphere when we’re in short supply of the most significant light of our lives: sunlight.
Without a moderate daily dose of direct sunlight, vitamin D levels drop and our health becomes more vulnerable.
For instance, vitamin D helps your body fight off flu viruses. Yes, even H1N1.
I could stop right there and you’d have reason enough to make sure you’re getting plenty of D from cod liver oil or D3 supplements. But as I’ve mentioned before, vitamin D has also been shown to help maintain strong bones and muscles, support cognitive function, and reduce risk of type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.
And then there’s your heart…
High cost of deficiency
Six years ago I sent you an email showing that vitamin D deficiency is closely linked to higher risk of congestive heart failure.
More recently, in “One Way or Another” (9/14/09), we saw how narrowing of arteries in type 2 diabetics might be delayed and even reversed when D levels are raised.
And then there’s the good news about heart disease.
In 2002, a study that followed nearly 10,000 women over the age of 65 showed a link between vitamin D supplement use and a reduced risk of death from heart disease.
Seven years later, new research from Utah’s Heart Institute at Intermountain Medical Center expands on that research with impressive results. The Utah team collected blood samples from more than 27,000 healthy subjects over the age of 50 with no history of heart disease.
Results for subjects with the lowest blood levels of D:
* Twice as likely to experience heart failure
* 45 percent more likely to develop coronary artery disease
* Nearly 80 percent more likely to have a stroke
In this study, lowest D levels were less than 15 nanograms per milliliter.
Talk to your doctor about testing your blood level of vitamin D. Then you can discuss supplement strategies for keeping levels high while we wait for the season of the big light to return.
Only 103 days till spring!
“Vitamin D Deficiency Linked Directly to Heart Disease” Guy Montague-Jones, NutraIngredients-USA, 11/20/09, nutraingredients-usa.com
Jenny Thompson is the Director of the Health Sciences Institute and editor of the HSI e-Alert. Through HSI, she and her team uncover important health information and expose ridiculous health misinformation, most notably through the HSI e-Alert.
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