Signs that vitamin D protects heart and metabolic health continue to roll in.
Prior studies have linked vitamin D deficiency to a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, heart-related death, and metabolic syndrome (Pilz S et al. 2008; Ginde AA et al. 2009).
Almost one in three Americans have metabolic syndrome (MetS) … a condition characterized by abdominal obesity, unhealthful blood fat profiles, hypertension, and poor blood sugar control.
Having MetS greatly increases the risk of developing type-2 diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease.
Fish fit the vitamin D bill; Sockeye salmon stand out
In addition to getting vitamin D from supplements, certain fish rank among the very few substantial food sources of vitamin D, far outranking milk and other D-fortified foods.
Among fish, wild sockeye Salmon rank as the richest source, with a single 3.5 ounce serving surpassing the US RDA of 600 IU by about 15 percent:
Vitamin D per 3.5 ounce serving*
Sockeye Salmon 687 IU
Albacore Tuna 544 IU
Silver Salmon 430 IU
King Salmon 236 IU
Sardines 222 IU
Sablefish 169 IU
Halibut 162 IU
*For our full test results, click here.
A British-Germanstudy adds more evidence that low vitamin D levels are a risk factor for death from cardiovascular disease … especially in those with metabolic syndrome.
British-German study links vitamin D lack to heart, metabolic illness
The study was led by Neil Thomas from the University of Birmingham, England.
His international team analyzed data from 1,801 Dutch men and women diagnosed with metabolic syndrome (Thomas GN et al. 2012).
Blood samples were taken at the start of the study and the participants were followed for an average of 7.7 years.
Compared to people with severe vitamin D deficiency, those with optimal vitamin D levels – 75 nmol/L or higher – were 75 percent less likely to have died from any cause, and 66 percent less likely to have died from cardiovascular disease.
As to specific heart-related causes of death, the risk of sudden cardiac death was 85 percent lower and the risk of death from congestive heart failure was 76 percent lower … but there was no risk reduction for death from heart attack.
The researchers noted that vitamin D influences blood sugar control, and that low vitamin D levels have been linked to increased insulin resistance.
In addition, other studies have indicated that the sunshine-and-seafood vitamin's anti-inflammatory effects may help protect blood vessel walls.
As the team wrote, “We hope these findings will spur interventional randomized, controlled trials to confirm the effects of vitamin D on mortality and, if positive, help establish recommendations for supplementation in these subjects.” (Thomas GN et al. 2012)
You can say that again!
Ginde AA, Scragg R, Schwartz RS, Camargo CA Jr. Prospective study of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level, cardiovascular disease mortality, and all-cause mortality in older U.S. adults. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2009 Sep;57(9):1595-603. Epub 2009 Jun 22.
Pilz S, März W, Wellnitz B, Seelhorst U, Fahrleitner-Pammer A, Dimai HP, Boehm BO, Dobnig H. Association of vitamin D deficiency with heart failure and sudden cardiac death in a large cross-sectional study of patients referred for coronary angiography. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Oct;93(10):3927-35. Epub 2008 Aug 5.
Thomas GN, O Hartaigh B, Bosch JA, Pilz S, Loerbroks A, Kleber ME, Fischer JE, Grammer TB, Böhm BO, März W. Vitamin D Levels Predict All-Cause and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality in Subjects With the Metabolic Syndrome: The Ludwigshafen Risk and Cardiovascular Health (LURIC) study. Diabetes Care. 2012 May;35(5):1158-64. Epub 2012 Mar 7.