Vitamin D cuts heart attack risk

Some recent research suggests that if you have diabetes, simply getting a little more vitamin D might cut your risk of heart attack.

In their 12-week study, published in November in Biomedical Central Medicine, a group of researchers from Tehran University of Medical Sciences looked at the effects of vitamin D on blood glucose, cholesterol, and inflammation in blood vessels (all of which contribute to increased risk of heart attack).

The 100 patients in their study, all with type 2 diabetes, were randomly assigned to drink a vitamin D3-fortified yogurt drink for lunch and dinner every day or a plain yogurt drink. The fortified drink contained 500 IU vitamin D3, which meant the participants got 1000 IU daily.

Overall, the vitamin-D group had significant improvements in blood glucose as well as LDL and HDL cholesterol levels and reduced blood vessel inflammation compared to the control group.

They each had reductions in waist size, body mass index, and body fat, too–all of which also go a long way in preventing heart attacks.

What doesn’t vitamin D do? This study just adds to the already impressive research showing that this essential nutrient helps tackle some of the biggest health threats out there–osteoporosis, dementia, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, even cancer.

Of course, I don’t recommend getting your vitamin D from a “fortified” drink like they used in this particular study. Juices and yogurt-based beverages like smoothies are loaded with sugar that can wreak havoc on your health.

The best source of vitamin D is from the sun, but it’s not always easy to get adequate exposure–especially this time of year. That’s why it’s so important to take a vitamin D supplement. I recommend taking at least 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day.