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Boosting Vitamin D levels with age could curb heart disease and diabetes

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

A review of studies performed by researchers from Warwick University shows that high levels of vitamin D in older people could help prevent heart disease and diabetes in older individuals. Vitamin D levels that were higher significantly decreased the risk of diabetes, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.

The study review revealed a 33 percent lower risk of heart disease in men and women from various ethnic groups, compared to low levels of vitamin D in 28 studies that included 99,745 participants. The risk of type II diabetes from high levels of vitamin D was reduced 55 percent, and metabolic syndrome risk declined by 51 percent.

The study, led by Johanna Parker and Dr Oscar Franco, Assistant Professor in Public Health at Warwick Medical School included publications from 1990 and 2009 from the US, Europe, Australasia, Iran and India.

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Dr. Franco says, "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", findings that are significant for curbing increasing rates of cardiovascular disease as well as the alarming incidence of type II diabetes.

Vitamin D from food sources, that include tuna, mackerel, salmon, fortified cereals and dairy products, sunlight, or supplements could reduce heart disease or diabetes by 43 percent among middle age and older individuals according to the findings.

Low levels of vitamin D has also been linked to increased chances of cancer, inability to lose weight, asthma, chronic pain, and greater risk of colds and flu. The new study shows that higher levels of vitamin D could provide substantial protection from cardiometabolic disorders that include heart disease and type II diabetes among older adults.

University of Warwick