We all know of low Vitamin D, or as well it is the “sunshine vitamin” and its effects on bones and the immune system. Since the pandemic’s start, we also discovered that blood vitamin D status could determine the risk of being infected with COVID-19, the seriousness of COVID-19, and mortality from COVID-19 (1).
The skin synthesises vitamin D3 naturally by converting UVB light from the sun. This vitamin can also be found in some foods, you can add it to others, and it’s also available as a supplement. Most people understand the importance of vitamin D on bone health. It prevents your body from taking away nutrients from the bone and making them weak. Since its role in bone health is what it has been long known for, the researchers at Ohio University have found a new intriguing benefit of this vitamin.
The Sunshine Vitamin and Cardiovascular Diseases
The researchers have found vitamin D to have significant effects on the cardiovascular. A current study published in the “European Heart Journal” shows that people with vitamin D deficiency can easily develop heart disease and higher blood pressure than those with normal vitamin D levels (2). The study encourages people who have low vitamin D levels to up their consumption of the vitamin. If most people took the vitamin either through food or supplements, the rates of CVD risk could reduce significantly.
Globally, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the top cause of death, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives per year (3). Around 7.6 million people have heart and circulatory diseases in the UK. Heart and circulatory diseases cause around a quarter of all deaths in the UK: that’s more than 160,000 deaths each year or one death every three minutes (4). Previous studies show that factors like family, several health conditions, family history, diet, and lifestyle come together and increase the risk of developing CVD (5).
So, if supplementing vitamin D or taking foods rich in this vitamin could help, why not do it sooner than later? There’s currently a lot to worry about, but it would be a better world if we all got CVDs out the list of worries. Look at it this way, vitamin D will not only reduce your risk of getting CVD but also help in bone strength, so you’ll kill two birds with one stone.
Low concentrations of Vitamin D are common around the world. A UK Biobank study showed that 55% of participants have low levels of vitamin D (<50 nmol/L), and 13 per cent have incredibly severe deficiency (<25 nmol/L) (6).
The Australian study suggests that if we can raise vitamin D levels within typical values, we should also affect rates of CVD. In the studied population, by increasing vitamin D-deficient individuals to levels of at least 50 nmol/L, they estimated that 4.4% of all CVD cases could have been prevented (2). That is a significant number of people dodging CVD.
When doing weekly grocery shopping, it is good to research or even consult with your doctor about foods rich in vitamin D. It doesn’t matter whether you’re deficient or not; the risk is too high to take it. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should forget about the other essential nutrients and vitamins; always remember to balance. If you can’t have enough vitamin D from your diet, you should consider supplements. They’re a great way to consume your vitamins without fail easily.
Other Benefits of the Sunshine Vitamin
- Vitamin D’s main purpose is to help in regulating calcium and phosphate amounts in the body. These nutrients are necessary for the body since they help keep muscles, bones, and teeth healthy.
- It supports the brain, immune and nervous system health.
- It supports cardiovascular health and lung function.
- It regulates insulin levels and supports diabetes management.
- It influences the expression of genes that promote cancer development.
The possibility of using Vitamin D to reduce the number of CVD cases demonstrates that it is really important to maintain an optimal level of this essential nutrient if you want to keep up with your health and live a healthy life.
Here at Healthy Stuff, we are providing you with a home test kit that you could use comfortably at home to check the amount of Vitamin D in your blood. Using this simple test kit, you will be able to test if you got a sufficient amount of this essential nutrient and seek medical advice if necessary to boost your immune system, improve your bones and prevent CVDs. All our test kits are designed to help you investigate your health further and find a better version of yourself.
So, what are you waiting for? Order online and take the first step to a new healthy life.
Written by Dr Enzo Fornari, trained as Pharmaceutical Biotechnologist, with PhD qualification in Biophysics and surface analysis. Dr Enzo is employed by Healthy Stuff as a Scientific Researcher: validating our tests, researching new testing methods and ensuring best practice in the lab. You can check out his profile here.
- Hiwot Yisak, Amien Ewunetei, Belayneh Kefale, Melkalem Mamuye, Fentaw Teshome, Birhanie Ambaw, and Getachew Yideg Yitbarek. “Effects of Vitamin D on COVID-19 Infection and Prognosis: A Systematic Review.” January 7, 2021. (Online) Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7800698/
- Ang Zhou, Joseph B Selvanayagam, Elina Hyppönen. “Non-linear Mendelian randomisation analyses support a role for vitamin D deficiency in cardiovascular disease risk.” European Heart Journal. December 5, 2021. (Online) Available: https://academic.oup.com/eurheartj/advance-article/doi/10.1093/eurheartj/ehab809/6448753?guestAccessKey=d51225dc-68dd-4d60-9035-e63233459983
- “The sunshine vitamin that ‘D’elivers on cardio health.” Science Daily. December 6, 2021. (Online) Available: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/12/211206113025.htm
- Heart Statistics. British Heart Foundation. (Online) Available: https://www.bhf.org.uk/what-we-do/our-research/heart-statistics
- Know your Risk for Heart Disease. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (Online) Available: https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/risk_factors.htm
- UK Biobank study shows high levels of vitamin D deficiency in south Asians. CABI. (Online) Available: https://www.cabi.org/nutrition/news/66935#:~:text=UK%20Biobank%20study%20shows%20high%20levels%20of%20vitamin,D%20deficiency%20and%2092%25%20were%20vitamin%20D%20insufficient.