Latest News » Sunshine vitamin can help heart health, study shows

In the cool winter months, Vitamin D can be scarce.

If you’ve ever gotten a case of seasonal affective disorder – the condition that leaves you feeling down in the dumps in the darker winter months, you know the impact that Vitamin D can have on your daily life. Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because it is absorbed through direct sunlight, and is often prescribed in supplement form by physicians for patients experiencing a bout of the blues toward the end of the year.

But, Vitamin D has plenty of other important functions as well. According to the National Institutes of Health, this nutrient also contributes to bone growth and a healthy immune system. However, its ability to combat inflammation could be the reason that lead researchers from the University of Copenhagen and Copenhagen University Hospital to explore its effect on heart disease.

According to a news release from the university, the investigators based their work on previous studies that linked a Vitamin D deficiency to high blood pressure. To determine this, they used data from a large{-}scale medical investigation, known as the Copenhagen City Heart Health Study, that was initiated in 1983. At that time, physicians documented the Vitamin D levels of more than 10,000 participants, and researchers have continued to monitor the health records of these individuals to this day.

Upon reviewing this information, the scientists found that heart disease was more common among people with the lowest documented levels of Vitamin D. This doesn’t necessarily indicate cause and effect, though.

“The explanation may be that a low level of vitamin D directly leads to heart disease and death. However, it is also possible that vitamin deficiency is a marker for poor health generally,”  explains Børge Nordestgaard, a physician at Copenhagen University Hospital and clinical professor at the university.

To see information about our vitamin D supplements, click here.