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Vitamin D and Your Heart

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I’ve written quite a bit on the beneficial effects of vitamin D, from building bones and helping with fibromyalgia to preventing cancer–click here and search the Health Tip archives for previous articles.

Now there’s another reason to ensure you get your D. The Archives of Internal Medicine published a study this year analyzing more than 15,000 people–half men, half women–and found that participants who had low blood levels of vitamin D were more likely to have high blood pressure and high levels of bad cholesterol, both real risks to your heart.

They also discovered that those with low levels of vitamin D were more likely to be obese and to have diabetes.

Remember that most vitamin D is made by your body itself, produced when sunlight reaches your skin. If you’re reading this anywhere in the northern hemisphere, you’re definitely not getting any vitamin D from sun exposure this month, or last month, or the next three months. This means you risk vitamin D deficiency unless you take a supplement.

Yes, there’s some D in foods like egg yolks, fortified milk, and salmon, but it’s virtually impossible to get the amounts you need to prevent deficiency from healthy portions of these foods.

My prescription: 2000-3000 IU of vitamin D per day–every day. Please don’t worry about overdosing on D. You’d have to take in excess of 25,000 IU for a long period to experience any toxicity.

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