Friday, December 19, 2008

Vitamin D for Heart Health

Did you know Vitamin D is critical for heart health as well as cancer prevention? According to The Journal of The American College of Cardiology, Vitamin D deficiencies are prevalent amongst 30 - 50 percent of the population. Lack of adequate Vitamin D levels can increase your risk of stroke and heart attack. The most common source for Vitamin D is through daily sun exposure.

"There are a whole array of studies linking increased cardiovascular risk with Vitamin D deficiency," noted Dr. James H. O'Keefe, director of preventive cardiology at the Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City. "It is associated with major risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and stiffening of the left ventricle of the heart and blood vessels. Inflammation is really important for heart disease, and people with vitamin D deficiency have increased inflammation."

Experts estimate that up to half of adults and 30 percent of children and teenagers in the United States are vitamin D-deficient. There is a wide array of studies linking increased cardiovascular risk with vitamin D deficiency.

The results from long-running Framingham Heart Study reveal that a person with Vitamin D levels lower than 15 nanograms per millileter of blood is twice as likely to experience heart failure, stroke, or other cardiovascular disorder within two years as compared to those who have higher levels.

The most common source for Vitamin D is through daily sun exposure. Also, fish such as salmon and deep sea-sourced fish are good natural sources. Mainstream dairy (pasteurized) is not a good source for Vitamin D because the Vitamin D in dairy products is synthetically produced and added into the product. The human body has great difficulty absorbing these types of nutrients. Even though raw milk is a great food for human health, Vitamin D does not naturally occur in it.

Good quality supplements are widely available through a qualified health care practitioner or health food stores. Consulting with a professional about which type is right for you will bring maximum health benefit. Although current recommended daily intake of Vitamin D intake is only 200 international units a day up to age 50, 400 units for ages 50 to 70, and 600 units a day over the age of 70, recent studies and evidence suggest that many people need nearly three times those amounts to make up for deficiencies - to be taken over a period of time and then tested to make certain levels rise to where they should be. This is especially true for people living in colder climates during winter months when sun exposure is less.

No comments: