Tuesday, December 06, 2005

How Vitamin D Protects Your Heart

As you know, getting the right amount of vitamin D treats and prevents a variety of ailments and diseases. A new study has linked the body's most natural source of vitamin D -- sunshine -- to the prevalence of cardiovascular disease.

Factors that affect vitamin D production -- the time of year, altitude and where you live -- are tied to a patient's cardiovascular risks. In other words, the more sunlight you get, the better your cardiovascular health will be.

Among the body's mechanisms triggered by vitamin D production through sunlight exposure that fight heart disease, according to the study:

An increase in the body's natural anti-inflammatory cytokines.
The suppression of vascular calcification.
The inhibition of vascular smooth muscle growth.

With winter fast approaching in the Northern Hemisphere, however, sunshine will remain at a minimum for a while. That's why I recommend maintaining your optimal vitamin D levels by taking a high quality cod liver oil regularly from now until early spring.

British Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 94, No. 4, October 2005: 483-492

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