The higher your vitamin D levels are, the less likely you are to die from cardiovascular disease. But will taking vitamin D protect your heart?
Does Vitamin D Protect Your Heart?
A meta-analysis of 34 studies involving over 180,000 participants found that people with higher levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D were less likely to succumb to a heart attack or stroke. This is the form of vitamin D that is measured in blood tests to determine how much of the vitamin is circulating in the body.
These were observational studies rather than randomized controlled trials, however. As a result, we don’t know how people with better vitamin D levels got their vitamin D-from sun exposure or from supplements.
It is unlikely to have been from diet. The richest food sources of vitamin D are cod liver oil, some fatty fish such as swordfish or salmon and fortified foods such as orange juice, milk or yogurt.
Studies of Supplements Have Been Disappointing:
The authors point out that experiments with vitamin D therapy to prevent bone loss have not shown noticeable cardiovascular benefits. Given this apparent contradiction, the investigators call for well-designed randomized vitamin D clinical trials to determine if vitamin D supplements can protect your heart and if so, what the best dose might be.