Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Attack Risk

In recent weeks, more and more information has surfaced about the benefits of vitamin D. I posted previously about vitamin D deficiency's link to breast cancer risk. In today's Los Angeles Times there is an article that reports on a new study that men who lack vitamin D have more than double the normal risk of a heart attack.

While these are preliminary studies, evidence for the advantages of vitamin D is growing. It seems likely that dietary recommendations—currently advocating 400 IU per day—will be increased in the near future. But be careful in taking supplements: vitamin D is fat-soluble, and can accumulate to toxic levels within the body.

The easiest—and healthiest—way to increase your vitamin D is to get outside in the sun for some exercise, like walking, jogging, or riding a bicycle. Precursors of vitamin D3 exist within the body normally and are converted when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Not only will you benefit from the extra vitamin D, but the exercise will help make you healthier in general.

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