Past research has suggested individuals with low levels of vitamin D are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Now a new study suggests that taking vitamin D supplements will not prevent heart attack or stroke, although it could protect against heart failure in seniors.
A research team, led by Dr. John Ford of the Norwich Medical School at the University of East Anglia, published the findings in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, noting numerous other studies have suggested that vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of an array of health problems, such as asthma, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, however, questioned the benefits of vitamin D supplementation, claiming it does not reduce the risk of heart attack, heart disease, stroke, cancer or bone fractures.
“The main message is that if you are otherwise healthy and active, you are likely to receive enough sunshine to have adequate vitamin D levels and don’t need to take vitamin D supplements,” study leader Dr. Mark Bolland told Medical News Today.
Bolland collaborated with Ford for the study, which specifically investigated the effects of vitamin D supplementation on the occurrence of cardiovascular events and outcomes. To reach their findings, the team analyzed data of a clinical trial involving 5,292 individuals aged 60 and over.
In the trial, participants were given a daily vitamin D supplement or placebo every day for five years. They assessed the occurrence of cardiovascular events and mortality among participants as they assessed 21 randomized controlled trials involving 13,033 people. The trials looked at subjects’ vitamin D intake and cardiovascular outcomes and from their analysis, the team found that taking vitamin D supplements does not appear to protect against heart attack or stroke.
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