Despite numerous studies proving that higher levels of vitamin D in the blood reduce heart attacks and deaths, a new study has shown that daily supplementation with vitamin D does not reduce the risk of heart disease in older women.
For a new test, Adrian Wood of Aberdeen University in the UK and his colleagues divided 305 women over the age of sixty into three groups. Each morning, for one year, one group took 400 IU of vitamin D, the other took 1000 IU, and the third received a placebo.
Studies have been conducted to establish a relationship between the level of vitamin D in the blood and heart health.
One year after the start of the study, cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar in women taking vitamin D were no lower than those taking placebo tablets. Throughout the year, cholesterol levels and blood pressure changed depending on the season - but not on whether women took vitamin D or not.
The study did not go far enough or did not have enough subjects to determine the effect of vitamin D on the number of heart attacks or deaths.
The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults give 600 IU of vitamin D per day, as there is strong evidence of the benefits of using vitamin D and calcium together to improve bone health. But the claim that vitamin D somehow affects the cardiovascular system is shaky.
Some researchers also believe that extra doses of vitamin D play an important role in regulating blood sugar.
Food sources of vitamin D are cod liver oil and other fish, as well as fortified juices and dairy products.