Longevity: Low levels of this vitamin increase the risk of heart attack and premature death


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Vitamin D supports heart health and longevity, research shows. | Photo credit: iStock images

Highlights

  • Vitamin D is not only a nutrient from the sun, it helps our bodies fight against many diseases.
  • Low level of vitamin D can lead to bone diseases, such as rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults.
  • Study shows that treating low vitamin D levels can help people live longer.

This facet of vitamin D that we already know. A well-identified risk factor for infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is postulated to be vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is well established to help regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, nutrients necessary for healthy bones, teeth and muscles. And that having a low level of vitamin D can lead to bone diseases, such as rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults. But a vitamin D deficiency can also increase the risk of heart attack and premature death, writes Matthew Solan, editor of Harvard Men’s Health Watch.

Harvard Health reports that in a study published in October 2021 in The Journal of the Endocrine Society, researchers identified 19,092 people who were deficient in vitamin D on at least two tests and who had never had a heart attack.

  1. Everyone was divided into three groups.
  2. People in group A were not treated and their blood levels remained below 20 ng / mL.
  3. Those in group B received vitamin D supplements that raised their levels in the range of 21 to 29 ng / mL.
  4. Those in Group C took enough supplements to raise their levels to 30 ng / mL or more.
  5. The researchers found that the risk of heart attack was lower in group C than in the other two groups.
  6. However, people in groups B and C (who were all taking supplements) were at risk of death from any cause than those in group A, who remained deficient in vitamin D.

Link with vitamin D?
Other evidence has linked low blood levels of vitamin D to cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and chronic kidney disease. The Endocrine Society defines vitamin D deficiency as a blood level of less than 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng / mL), while vitamin D deficiency is 21 to 29 ng / mL. Optimal levels are 30 to 100 ng / mL.

Vitamin D is such a misunderstood vitamin hero that it took a pandemic to show its strength. The Journal of Endocrinology Society also cites that vitamin D deficiency is associated with a higher risk of hospitalization for COVID-19. The study included 80,670 participants in 2 districts in the North West of England. Of these, 1,808 were admitted to hospital with COVID-19, of which 670 died. However, researchers say that widespread measurement of serum 25 (OH) D and treatment of the deficiency or deficiency may reduce this risk.

We also saw in a previous Times Now article how your tongue can indicate if you are dangerously lacking in nutrients from the sun.

The UK’s National Health Scheme (NHS) requires everyone to consider taking a daily vitamin D supplement during fall and winter. “People at high risk of not getting enough vitamin D, all children 1 to 4 years old and all babies (unless they consume more than 500 ml of infant formula per day) should take a daily supplement. throughout the year, “advises the UK. government health agency.

Good sources of vitamin D
When exposed to direct sunlight, most people should be able to make all the vitamin D they need from the sun.
The body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when it is outdoors.
Food sources of vitamin D include:

  1. Fatty fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel
  2. Red meat
  3. Liver
  4. Egg yolks
  5. Fortified foods
  6. Supplements
  7. Sunlight

What hinders or blocks the absorption of vitamin D?
Some factors that can reduce or block its absorption include conditions such as celiac disease, chronic pancreatitis, Crohn’s disease, and cystic fibrosis. These can all affect the intestines, preventing them from absorbing vitamin D from food. A BMI (body mass index) over 30 also hampers the absorption of vitamin D because fat cells trap it. In addition, some kidney disease, liver failure, radiotherapy, bariatric surgery and some drugs like oral steroids, statins, diuretics, etc. may also interfere with the absorption of vitamin D.

Disclaimer: The tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or dietitian before starting a fitness program or making any changes to your diet.

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