Middle aged and elderly people with high levels of vitamin D could reduce their chances of developing heart disease or diabetes by 43%, according to researchers at the University of Warwick.
A team of researchers at Warwick Medical School carried out a systematic literature review of studies examining vitamin D and cardiometabolic disorders. Cardiometabolic disorders include cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in some foods and is also produced when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. Fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel are good sources of vitamin D, and it is also available as a dietary supplement.
Researchers looked at 28 studies including 99,745 participants across a variety of ethnic groups including men and women. The studies revealed a significant association between high levels of vitamin D and a decreased risk of developing cardiovascular disease (33% compared to low levels of vitamin D), type 2 diabetes (55% reduction) and metabolic syndrome (51% reduction).
The literature review, published in the journal Maturitas, was led by Johanna Parker and Dr Oscar Franco, Assistant Professor in Public Health at Warwick Medical School.
Dr Franco said: “We found that high levels of vitamin D among middle age and elderly populations are associated with a substantial decrease in cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
“Targeting vitamin D deficiency in adult populations could potentially slow the current epidemics of cardiometabolic disorders.”
All studies included were published between 1990 and 2009 with the majority published between 2004 and 2009. Half of the studies were conducted in the United States, eight were European, two studies were from Iran, three from Australasia and one from India.
via High levels of vitamin D in older people can reduce heart disease and diabetes.
It is best to get a little sun each day, but no sun has been available and I’m still fighting off a cough so I’ve been taking supplements. I’ve been taking 2,500 IUs of D3 a few mornings a week for a while now. If you take this much day after day for a month, you’ll probably be okay. Up to 10,000 IUs per day may be the actual safe limits for adults according to one site. Just watch for symptoms and cut back if you experience any. To be safe, you may want to stick with 1,000 IUs, since one site says “Chronic ingestion of only 1,600 to 2,000 IU daily of vitamin D is sufficient to cause toxicity.” – link Not sure what study is the source of that last statement or how old it is.
After some more research, I don’t really know how much if any Vitamin D I should be taking. I certainly don’t need any more confusion or heart rhythm abnormalities.
Vitamin D toxicity can cause nonspecific symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, weakness, and weight loss . More seriously, it can also raise blood levels of calcium, causing mental status changes such as confusion and heart rhythm abnormalities .
The use of supplements of both calcium (1,000 mg/day) and vitamin D (400 IU/day) by postmenopausal women was associated with a 17% increase in the risk of kidney stones over 7 years in the Women’s Health Initiative .
I think the way to tell is to get tested. The normal range is 30.0 to 74.0 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). According to the NIH, the jury is still out on Vitamin D as far as the safe upper limit of supplements.