Written by Heidi Nestor, Writer and Editor, Life Alert
Most of us know Vitamin D as the “Sunshine” vitamin that promotes bone health but now the medical world is discovering that Vitamin D may aid other hot spots in the body. According to an online article by RealAge, “New research is suggesting that vitamin D may help reduce a person’s risk of dying from a stroke as much as 50 percent!
Heated studies are shining the light on how this group of fat-soluble prohormones can not only help the body absorb calcium to prevent osteoporosis, but may also increase heart health by reducing the risks of heart attacks. Most of the evidence is coming from discovering a link between heart disease and a lack of Vitamin D, “Those with low vitamin D levels,” says Will Dunham of Reuters, “had about a 60 percent higher risk of a cardiovascular event like heart attack, heart failure or stroke compared to those with higher levels…"
Research thus far has not turned up how, exactly, Vitamin D prevents heart disease. But then no one really knows how quantum physics works or why Jerry Lewis is so popular in France. The point is Vitamin D seems to be working in promoting heart health as well as bone health. Caroline Cassels states in her online article “Low Vitamin D Levels Independent Predictor of Fatal Stroke” that, “Vitamin D supplementation in stroke patients has already been shown to reduce osteopenia, fractures, and falls while improving muscle strength." And Dunham agrees that, “People with low vitamin D levels face an elevated risk for heart attack, heart failure and stroke."
Though more research needs to be conducted, another study performed by Finnish scientists that followed 6,000 people for over 25 years resulted in “those with the highest D intake were significantly less likely to die of either stroke or heart disease”, compared to those with low D intake. (RealAge.com)
However, getting enough vitamin D may not be as easy as going to the beach according to Cassels, “Low levels of vitamin D are considered 1 of the most common medical conditions worldwide; it is estimated that more than 50% of children and adults in the United States and Europe are at risk” (Medscape.com). There aren’t many foods rich in this bone strengthening substance but experts say, “Exposure to 10 to 15 minutes of sunshine three times weekly is enough to produce necessary Vitamin D levels” (Reuters).
What if you have already had a heart attack or stroke, or have weak bones? Well, another way to stay health conscious is to have Life Alert at the ready. Though we might not know your Vitamin D level, we do know that once signs of a heart attack or stroke come on, we can play just as import of a role in saving lives as Vitamin D is to saving bone density. Weak bones can lead to falls, having an emergency Life Alert pendant will ensure that if you do trip we can have help to you in minutes and that’s something to shine about.
Cassels, Caroline. “Low Vitamin D Levels Independent Predictor of Fatal Stroke.” 24 July 2008.
December 2009 www.medscape.com/viewarticle/577998.
Dunham, Will. “Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart, Stroke Risk.” Reuters. 7 January 2008.
December 2009 www.reuters.com/article/idUSN0741865020080107
“Make Strokes Less Deadly with This Vitamin.” RealAge.
December 2009 www.realage.com/tips/make-strokes-less-deadly-with-this-vitamin
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