Periodically in my research, I come across a little “jewel” of information that is unexpected and in the long run potentially quite beneficial. While doing some research recently on Multiple Sclerosis, I came across just such a “gem.”
I’ve long known that low levels of Vitamin D were associated with a number of health conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis and other autoimmune disorders. What I didn’t know is that low levels of Vitamin D may also be linked to heart disease.
In 2008, Johns Hopkins Medical researchers released findings of a study linking low levels of Vitamin D to not only an increased risk of death compared to those with healthy Vitamin D levels, but an increased risk of heart disease as well. The study pool of participants consisted of 13,000 healthy men and women from diverse backgrounds. During the course of the study, the risk of death between participants with low versus high levels of Vitamin D were tracked and compared. The results were quite startling.
Low levels of Vitamin D were found to increase the participants’ risk of death by 26%! Of the 1800 study participants who died, 700 died from cardiovascular disease! Of those 700, more than half (400) were known to have a Vitamin D deficiency. While the number of deaths isn’t enough to be a valid statistical sampling to “prove” the causal relationship between low Vitamin D levels and cardiovascular disease, it certainly is enough to give pause for consideration. One of the assistant professors at Johns Hopkins, Michos, indicated that there was enough evidence to consider a Vitamin D deficiency as a risk factor for developing heart disease.
This information was of particular interest to me since I have a condition that is linked to a Vitamin D deficiency. I’ve known about the link between a Vitamin D deficiency and this condition for a quite some time. Since I know that my Vitamin D levels are low, I take a Vitamin D supplement daily to compensate. I’m lucky. I knew I had low Vitamin D and have already addressed this risk factor. Unfortunately, many of my “sisters” may be out there running around at risk and not even know it.