Low Vitamin D Linked To Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

A low vitamin D intake in childhood is associated with a higher risk of a type of cardiovascular disease that can be diagnosed in in adulthood, researchers in Finland have found.

The researchers, led by Markus Juonala from the University of Turku, measured vitamin D levels of children and young people at baseline and then measured for carotid intima-thickness (IMT) — an indicator of structural atherosclerosis — as adults.

Some findings show that women who don’t get enough vitamin E in their diets also appear to be more likely than others to show early signs of atherosclerosis, even before they experience any symptoms of the condition. They concluded that the highest risk of early atherosclerosis were those who took in the lowest amount of vitamin E in their diets.

Blood levels <20 ng/ml) are associated with nearly a 50 percent increase in the mortality rate in older adults. Although vitamin D can be obtained from limited dietary sources and directly from exposure to the sun during the spring and summer months, the combination of poor dietary intake and sun avoidance has created vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency in large proportions of many populations worldwide.

Atherosclerosis is a chronic disease caused by accumulation of cholesterol in the artery leading to inflammation and atheroma (blocked arteries). It is sub-clinical – meaning asymptomatic — and can therefore go undetected and untreated for decades.

The scientists studied 2,148 young Finnish people, measuring vitamin D levels at age 3-18 years using stored serum. The subjects were then re-examined 27 years later at age 30-45 years, with measurements of IMT taken from the posterior wall of the left carotid artery using ultrasound.

The scientists also took into account other conventional cardiovascular risk factors, such as diet, physical activity and smoking, measured using detailed questionnaires and confidential medical histories at both childhood and adulthood.

Results

The scientists found that subjects with 25-OH vitamin D levels in the lowest quartile in childhood (_ 40 nmol/L) were at significantly higher risk of IMT as adults (21.9% vs 12.7%, P _ .001).

Vitamin levels below 43 nmol/L were associated with an increased IMT risk. Current US guidelines suggest that the optimal level in childhood is 50nmol/L.

“The association was independent of conventional cardiovascular risk factors including serum lipids, blood pressure, smoking, diet, physical activity, obesity indices and socioeconomic status,” said Markus Juonala of the University of Turku Finland, one of the study’s authors.

“Conversely, low levels of adult vitamin D were not associated with subclinical atherosclerosis. This suggests that the effects of vitamin D on cardiovascular risk may operate earlier in the life-course.”

An argument for supplementation?

“More research is needed to investigate whether low vitamin D levels have a causal role in the development increased carotid artery thickness. Nevertheless, our observations highlight the importance of providing children with a diet that includes sufficient vitamin,” Juonala said.

The study identified children at high risk of developing vitamin D deficiency as those whose diet is poor in sources of vitamin D (either through natural sources or fortified foods), those who do not regularly take food supplements or children who do not have adequate sunlight exposure.

Since the baseline measurements of the study were taken, legislation regarding food fortification in Finland and other Scandinavian countries has been relaxed and most milks, margarines and yoghurts are now fortified with vitamin D, leading to “higher serum vitamin D levels in children and adolescents.”

“Food fortification is an effective tool to improve the vitamin D status in the whole population as is demonstrated in countries like the US and Canada; food fortification is “cheap”, effective and has a high return on investment,” however the quality of vitamin D may need to be improved to render it effective.

“In my view the Nordic countries are the ‘front runners’ in communicating the risk of vitamin D inadequacy for the general population as well as in putting fortification with vitamin D in place. The other countries in Europe are lagging behind however (…) and we do not see progress in fortification of food items like dairy products.”

Source:
endocrine.org

Mae Chan holds degrees in both physiology and nutritional sciences. She is also blogger and and technology enthusiast with a passion for disseminating information about health.

http://preventdisease.com/news/15/021515_Low-Vitamin-D-Linked-Increased-Risk-Cardiovascular-Disease.shtml

New Research Reveals the Real Causes of Depression

DepressionDepression is thought to affect about one in 10 Americans.1 In 2010, antidepressants were the second most commonly prescribed type of medication in the US,2 hinting at the severity of the problem.

Contrary to popular belief, depression is not likely caused by unbalanced brain chemicals; however there are a number of other biological factors that appear to be highly significant. Chronic inflammation is one. As noted in the featured article:3 (more…)

Asthma Can Be Reduced By Increasing Vitamin D Levels And Consuming Ginger

Patients with chronic inflammatory diseases, such as asthma are typically vitamin D deficient and can benefit from both increases in Vitamin D and ginger.

According to new research published in the journal Allergy, Dr Ronit Confino-Cohen and colleagues at Tel Aviv University analysed data from more than four million Israeli’s that are members of the nations largest healthcare provider — finding that of the 21,000 with asthma, those with a vitamin D deficiency were 25% more likely than other asthmatics to have had at least one flare-up in the recent past.

The effect of the vitamin is strongest in people with asthma and other lung diseases who are predisposed to respiratory infections. People with the worst vitamin D deficiency were 36 percent more likely to suffer respiratory infections than those with sufficient levels, according to research in Archives of Internal Medicine. (more…)

Low Vitamin D Linked to Premature Death

Compelling Evidence That Low Levels of Vitamin D Have a Causal Role In Development of High Blood Pressure

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http://www.precisionnutrition.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/Fig-1-Vit-D.jpg

WHAT VITAMIN DO WE need in amounts up to 25 times higher than the government recommends for us to be healthy?

What vitamin deficiency affects over half of the population, is almost never diagnosed, and has been linked to many cancers, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, depression, fibromyalgia, chronic muscle pain, bone loss, and autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis?

What vitamin is almost totally absent from our food supply?

What vitamin is the hidden cause of so much suffering that is so easy to treat?

The answer to all of these questions is vitamin D.

Over the last 10 years of my practice, my focus has been to discover what the body needs to function optimally. And I have become more interested in the role of specific nutrients as the years have passed.

Two recent studies in The Journal of Pediatrics found that 70 percent of American kids aren’t getting enough vitamin D, and this puts them at higher risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and lower levels of good cholesterol. Low vitamin D levels also may increase a child’s risk of developing heart disease later in life. (more…)

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Daily supplements of vitamin D3 improve the heart’s response to a stressor and double the chances of surviving cancer according to two separate studies in Anticancer Research and the International Journal of Cardiology.

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Vitamin D Fights MS: Johns Hopkins

http://www.nutraingredients.com/var/plain_site/storage/images/publications/food-beverage-nutrition/nutraingredients.com/research/vitamin-d3-therapy-may-offer-ms-hope-mouse-data/8455739-1-eng-GB/Vitamin-D3-therapy-may-offer-MS-hope-Mouse-data_strict_xxl.jpgJohns Hopkins researchers have found that vitamin D may help fight multiple sclerosis, based on new studies involving mice with a rodent form of the disease.
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10 Natural Flu Remedies You Can Try at Home

1. Vitamin D

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