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Issue 77: Are You D-ficient?

The results of a study published in the June 2009 edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine may cause your heart to flutter.

The study indicates that there is a possible connection between vitamin D levels and heart health—especially in men.† Edward Giovannucci, M.D., Sc. D., professor of medicine and nutrition, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health teamed up with some of his colleagues to explore this further.

Their study involved 454 men between the ages of 40 and 75 who struggled in the area of heart health. The researchers then did a comparative with an additional 900 men who were strong in the area of heart health. Their findings were eye-opening.

The researchers believe that their results indicate that adequate dietary levels of vitamin D are correlated with overall heart health in these men.† While more studies need to be done, these findings are encouraging to this team of scientists.

The takeaway? The researchers in this study suggest that sufficient dietary vitamin D intake can have a positive effect on heart health.† That may be interesting news to the three-quarters of teenagers and adults in America who lack enough vitamin D. 

James H. O'Keefe MD, cardiologist and Director of Preventive Cardiology, Mid America Heart Institute, Kansas City, Missouri, agrees with this study’s findings. He says, “Vitamin D deficiency is an unrecognized, emerging part of heart unhealth, but vitamin D is easy to assess and getting enough of it is simple, safe, and inexpensive.”†

But that’s not all the heart-stopping studies going on about not getting enough vitamin D and overall heart health. Framingham Heart Study researchers in an article published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association believe that the same vitamin D that can support bone health can also support heart health.†

Assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, Thomas Wang, M.D., was a lead researcher in this study and whole-heartedly believes in the connection between a healthy heart and healthy dietary vitamin D levels. In fact, he believes that vitamin D may play a more important role than what we think.†

In a study of 1,739 offspring from the Framingham Heart Study participants, with an average age of 59, researchers noted a distinct nutritional deficiency as it relates to vitamin D. They say that those who had inadequate vitamin D blood levels were twice as likely to encounter heart issues compared to those who had sufficient vitamin D levels from their diets.† 

This is, of course, a new topic in research, so there’s more to be established and examined. In the meantime, when you think about maintaining your heart health, you may want to consider your intake of dietary vitamin D. You don’t want to come up short.

† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

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