Features February 2012 Issue

Research Raises Questions About Vitamin D’s Heart Benefits

When the skin is exposed to UVB radiation from the sun, an inactive form of vitamin D3 is formed and transported to the liver and converted into 25-hydroxy vitamin D3. From there, it travels to the kidneys, where the active form of vitamin D1, 25 dihydroxy vitamin D3is produced. Vitamin D from foods and supplements also are processed through the liver and kidneys.

Research Raises Questions About Vitamin D’s Heart Benefits

Supplementing with vitamin D may not improve cardiovascular health.

Vitamin Ds importance to bone and muscle health is indisputable, though its less clear how that key nutrient affects heart health. Several studies in recent years have suggested that vitamin D plays a key role in keeping your blood vessels healthy and your heart muscle strong. The consensus is that individuals with low vitamin D levels tend to be at higher risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack. But not all research supports the idea that vitamin D supplementation is the answer to lowering your risks.

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