Vitamin D/Heart disease
7 Healthcast: Vitamin D/Heart disease
In this new study, Harvard researchers looked at more than 1700 volunteers from the Framingham heart study to determine if low levels of vitamin D could lead to heart disease.
"We found that it did, providing a 60 percent increased risk in developing heart disease including heart attack and stroke," said cardiologist Dr. Thomas Wang of Massachusetts General Hospital.
You can get vitamin D from certain foods such as diary and some fortified cereals, as well as through supplements. The sun also provides vitamin D.
But Dr. Wang, who was involved in the research, says many in this country have a vitamin D deficiency.
"In the northeast, a high proportion of people have high levels in that range, almost 30 percent of people in our study had levels that were compatible with moderate to severe deficiency," Dr. Wang said.
Dr. Wang says further research needs to be done in this area, but in the meantime, the American Heart Association recommends eating a balanced diet with a variety of foods including those that contain vitamin D.
Dr. Wang says at this stage he doesn't recommend that people get tested for a vitamin D deficiency to prevent heart disease because more research is needed.(Copyright 2008 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)