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Vitamin D prevents heart attacks

Vitamin D prevents heart attacks

Does vitamin D reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease? There is no evidence yet of such a protective effect on the health of the elderly. A team of researchers continued the research and observed a reduction in the incidence of infarcts, particularly in subjects who were already being followed for treatment for cardiovascular disease.

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Well-known for its benefits to bones and skin, vitamin D may also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. A new study conducted by Australian researchers revealed that taking vitamin D every month can prevent heart attacks in people over the age of 60.

This is not the first time that scientists have looked at the effects of vitamin D on cardiovascular health, and so far no evidence has been presented of a possible link between these two phenomena. But this is the biggest article ever on this topic. A team of Australian researchers sought to determine whether monthly vitamin D intake by older adults could have an effect on the rate of cardiovascular events, and more specifically on the rate of heart attacks and cerebrovascular accidents.

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Published in British Medical Journal (BMJ)The study involved 21,315 Australians ages 60 to 84 who received either a dose of vitamin D or a placebo by mouth at the beginning of each month, for up to five years. In the end, more than 80% of study participants claimed to have taken at least 80% of the suggested doses during the study period. The researchers then reviewed and analyzed the participants’ data about their possible hospitalizations or deaths to determine if they had suffered heart attacks and strokes, or had undergone coronary revascularization.

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Reduce cardiovascular events with Vitamin D

As a result, the researchers say, the rate of major cardiovascular events was 9% lower in the group of participants who took vitamin D, specifying that this corresponds to 5.8 fewer events per 1,000 participants. More specifically, the infarction rate was 19% lower in the vitamin D group, compared to the placebo group, and the coronary revascularization rate was 11%. On the other hand, the scientists point out that they did not notice any difference in the stroke rate.

Be careful, however, to consider the limitations of this scientific study, only because the researchers determined that the effects “looked” more convincing in participants receiving treatment, at the start of the study, intended to reduce cardiovascular risk, such as statins. They also noted that the difference in absolute risk was small between the two groups, even though the size of the trial suggested a link between vitamin D intake and heart attack risk.

At the same time, these findings suggest that conclusions that vitamin D supplementation does not alter cardiovascular disease risk are premature. And to add, additional work is now warranted to determine whether this protective effect is actually more pronounced in people already undergoing treatment.