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This Morning: Doctor Chris discusses vitamin D deficiency

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Heart diseases are usually linked to blood clots or a build-up of fatty deposits inside your arteries, the NHS explains. However, a new study has found vitamin D deficiency to play a role in causing diseases affecting the heart. This deficiency can be more prevalent during the winter months.

The new study published in the European Heart Journal has identified vitamin D deficiency to pose a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

The research team from Australian Centre for Precision Health found that vitamin D deficiency plays a role in causing diseases affecting the heart.

This study reports that people who suffer from this deficiency are more likely to have a heart disease and higher blood pressure.

In fact, the participants with the lowest concentrations of vitamin D had double the risk of heart disease.

Generally, people who are at a high risk of being deficient in the so-called sunshine vitamin are those who have “very little or no sunshine exposure”.

This is especially true during the winter months, when there are less sunshine hours throughout the day.

This makes the deficiency more prevalent during this time, according to the National Library of Medicine.

This happens because our bodies are not able to synthesise enough of this vitamin organically from the sun.

During the sunny months between late March till the end of September, the majority of people are able to make all the vitamin D necessary for their health only through bearing skin in the sun.

The UK Government also recommends looking into taking a supplement of this vitamin during winter to avoid this deficiency.

The data from the UK Biobank reports that 55 percent of participants worldwide have low levels of vitamin D.

The number of people suffering from “severe” deficiency was recorded at 13 percent.

Chief investigator Professor Elina Hyppönen highlights the role of vitamin D deficiency for heart health, as it could help lower the “global burden” of heart diseases.

Hyppönen said: “Severe deficiency is relatively rare, but in settings where this does occur it is very important to be proactive and avoid negative effects on the heart. 

“For example, adderall best generic deficiency can be a problem for people living in residential care who may have limited exposure to sun.

“Our results are exciting as they suggest that if we can raise levels of vitamin D within norms, we should also affect rates of cardiovascular diseases,” she added.

The study suggests that increasing vitamin D levels to at least 50 nanomoles per litre could prevent more than four percent of all cardiovascular disease cases.

Nanomoles per litre are used to measure the amount of vitamin D in blood, while international units (IU) are used to express the amount of this vitamin in, for example, food or supplements.

The recommended daily dose of vitamin D is 400IU.

Apart from supplements, vitamin D can be also found in certain foods including:

  • Oily fish (salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel)
  • Red meat or liver
  • Egg yolks
  • Fortified foods (fat spreads and breakfast cereals).

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