Increased heart risks for men with low levels of vitamin D

Fall 2008 CSANews Issue 68  |  Posted date : Sep 19, 2008.Back to list

A recent study reveals that men with low levels of vitamin D have a greater risk of having a heart attack. Over a period of 10 years, blood samples were taken from men ages 40 to 75 who did not have heart disease at the time. Researchers found that men with a vitamin D deficiency (blood levels lower than 15 ng/mL) had an increased chance of heart attack, compared with men who had adequate levels of the vitamin (30 ng/mL). Even when risk factors were taken into consideration, such as family history, smoking and body mass index, participants with higher levels of vitamin D continued to fall into the low-risk profile.

Low levels of vitamin D can occur by not spending enough time outside and by not consuming the sufficient amount of vitamin D-rich foods, such as milk and fish. Canada's Food Guide recommends that adults consume two cups of milk or milk alternatives every day. The guide also recommends that people older than 50 take a daily 400 IU supplement of vitamin D.