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Blocking Heart Attack Risk with Heavy ‘D’

Heart Study:  Heart Attack Prevalence Highest Among Men Low in Vitamin D  

If you’re a regular reader of my column, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve referenced the tragic death of Tim Russert with some consistency lately.  I do this not only because his death shocked me as well as many others around the world who admired his tenacity and fairness as a journalist, but also because it happened to someone who – by all accounts – was making every effort to improve his health through a good diet and regular exercise.  The randomness of it all has

reconfirmed in me the importance of making every effort to increase our own vitality by ensuring we don’t fall victim to similar circumstances, namely, a sudden heart attack.  And according to research recently published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, a sudden heart attack may be in the offing for those with low vitamin D levels.

The study followed the health of approximately 1300 men, all of whom were health professionals, between the ages of 40 and 75.  Some of the men – 454 of them, to be exact – had suffered a non-fatal heart attack or had died in the course of the 10-year study.  The remainder of the men studied had no history of heart problems. 

To determine any tie between vitamin D and heart attacks, the researchers took blood samples from each of the men and tested the vitamin D levels of each.  What they found was that those men who were classified as “deficient” in vitamin D levels – having approximately 15 nanograms per milliliter of blood – were up to two and a half times more likely to suffer from a heart attack than those who were in the normal range – at least 30 nanograms of vitamin D per milliliter of blood.

In the past I’ve written about vitamin D being a defensive vitamin by helping the body immunize itself from viruses like the common cold, and by its ability to extend one’s lifespan when taken as a supplement (see “The D-fensive Vitamin:  Study Finds Vitamin D Extends Life”).  This study is just more evidence of vitamin D’s protective properties.

The question is, what is the best way to supplement our lives with this all important fat-soluble vitamin?  It being the summertime, perhaps the easiest way is by spending more time outdoors.  Instead of driving to your local gym in the morning and spending 30 to 60 minutes on the stationary bike, why not take your outdoor bike to the gym?  Not only are you increasing your bottom line by saving money on gas, you’re also increasing your vitamin D levels by exposing yourself to the sun’s rays.

The other way is, of course, what we choose to eat.  Fortunately, vitamin D tends to be found most abundantly in health food choices like salmon, cod, dandelion greens, and oatmeal.

Anyone can find out about their vitamin D level simply by asking their doctor to perform a blood test.  Those particularly at risk for low levels of vitamin D include African Americans, the elderly, and those suffering from various thyroid and/or kidney conditions.

Related Posts

  1. Natural Heart Attack Prevention Is Your Safest Option
  2. Heart Disease Death Risk Lowered by One-Third Through Vitamin D, Study Says
  3. Chinese Rice & Your Heart Health
  4. Air Pollution Increases Risk of Heart Disease in Women, Study Finds
  5. Could Heart Medications Have Contributed To Tim Russert’s Death?
  


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