Here is some cutting-edge health news. You will be hearing a lot more about Vitamin D in the future as an alternative to taking expensive and potentially dangerous drugs. Keep your eyes peeled for more information like this.
Middle aged and elderly people with higher levels of vitamin D could reduce their chances of developing heart disease or diabetes by 43%, according to researchers at the University of Warwick (England). A team of researchers at Warwick Medical School carried out a scientific review of studies examining vitamin D and cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome (also known as syndrome X).
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in foods like fortified milk and fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel. It is also produced when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. And finally it is also available as a dietary supplement.
Researchers looked at 28 studies including 99,745 participants across a variety of ethnic groups including men and women. The studies revealed that higher levels of Vitamin D resulted in a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease (33% lower), type 2 diabetes (55% lower) and metabolic syndrome (51% lower).
The review, published in the journal Maturitas, was led by Johanna Parker and Dr Oscar Franco, Assistant Professor in Public Health at Warwick Medical School.
Dr Franco said: “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. Targeting vitamin D deficiency in adult populations could potentially slow the current epidemics of such disorders.”
This study is especially important for those of us in midlife and beyond. Denise Houston, PhD, RD, assistant professor of gerontology and geriatric medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, who has done extensive research on vitamin D and the elderly believes that even those living in Florida and Hawaii, where sunshine is abundant year-round, often are deficient. She offers several reasons why this is so. With age, the skin’s ability to make vitamin D is reduced — in fact, older adults produce only about one-quarter the amount of vitamin D from the sun as do younger people. Also, older people are often less likely to spend time outdoors in the sun and many wear long sleeves (and use sunscreen) when they do go out, she said.
Few people get sufficient Vitamin D from their diet. Dr. Houston an easy and sure way to get enough is to supplement with Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), the more active form of the vitamin. She recommends that people age 50 or older take a daily supplement containing from 1000 to 2000 IU of vitamin D3.
Suzanne and I both supplement our diets with extra Vitamin D and feel GREAT!