More D, Please
There’s a growing body of evidence that connects lack of vitamin D to cardiovascular disease risk factors like high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity—as well as to heart attack and stroke—say the authors of a new study. They say that an estimated 30 to 50 percent of Americans are deficient in vitamin D, and that getting more of it may be a simple way to prevent disease. The government recommends adults get 200 to 600 international units of D a day, but the study’s authors back a higher daily dose of 1,000 to 2,000 IU. The most powerful source of vitamin D is the skin, which manufactures the vitamin when it is exposed to sunlight. However, because many people don’t get enough sunlight (or block it with sunscreen), the authors say that taking a supplement could prevent deficiency and might reduce the risk of future cardiovascular disease and life-threatening events.
Source: Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Dec. 9, 2008