Multivitamin mineral supplement linked to lower risk of heart attack and stroke

Most people get enough vitamin D from their diets even if they get it through the skin but Canadians (and a certain percentage of people worldwide) often dont get enough of the vitamin through food.

A new study published Feb 18 in The BMJ presages an improvement in this public health issue. The findings indicate that people in high-income countries that can afford supplements containing 25-HDACTS particularly calcium and vitamin D3 are less likely to have a heart attack or stroke.

These findings come from a Danish cohort study with more than 56000 adults aged 60-74 years.

Daily vitamin D intake was self-reported using a validated food frequency questionnaire administered at the start of the study.

Of this group 10035 were taking vitamin D3 7319 were taking calcium (vitamin D3-fortified calcium-enriched dairy milk) and 5615 were taking vitamin D3 alone.

Overall 20046 of the participants or 48. 2 per cent reported consuming vitamin D3.

Among the 75046 that had adequate vitamin D3 no one in the cohort (about 23056) had a heart attack or stroke.

Among the 25995 people who did have these cardiovascular diseases these were vitamin D3-deficient individuals.

For bone marrow vitamin D3-deficient individuals were 100 per cent less likely to have vitamin D3-skeletal diseases than those with adequate vitamin D3.

Vitamin D cancer prevention.

The findings also showed no significant association between vitamin D3 and total mortality or cardiovascular diseases.

This is an observational study and as such cant establish cause and the authors point to some limitations. For example the sample was made up of people without a history of cardiovascular disease vitamin D3 deficient or matching specimens limiting the possibility that the dose of vitamin D3 resulting in inadequate vitamin D3 binding likely increases rates of cardiovascular diseases in the community rather than curing them.

Importantly about half of the total sample was vitamin D3 deficient making it hard to control for the potentially confounding effects of vitamin D3 deficiency even after inclusion of vitamin D3 deficient individuals said Gerd Andresen of Bergen University in Norway.

In terms of lifestyle and preventive medicine lifestyle changes such as dietary vitamin D3 supplementation may be of limited benefit given a concomitant reduction in cardiovascular disease risk said Andresen who wasnt involved in the study.

Although vitamin D issues have been reported with vitamin D supplementation in previous studies our results refocus attention to the role of dietary factors in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases he noted.

Andresen believes that supplementation with vitamin D especially calcium is a promising dietary intervention for vitamin D-deficient individuals with or at high risk and could improve outcomes.

For now it is very important to prevent vitamin D deficiency in the population and maximize the vitamin D vitamin D3 to protect against cardiovascular diseases he said.