Older adults with low levels of vitamin D may be at an increased risk of dying from heart disease, according to a new study. Looking at data on 3,408 adults ages 65 and older, researchers found that study members with inadequate vitamin D levels were three times more likely to die from heart disease compared to participants with optimal D levels.
More than one-third of older Americans may be running low on vitamin D, the study authors estimate. Although the vitamin is available in some foods (such as certain types of fish, as well as fortified juices and cereals), it's difficult to obtain your recommended daily intake of D through dietary sources only. Your body can synthesize vitamin D during exposure to the sun's UVB rays, but getting too much sun can raise your risk of skin cancer. Therefore, it may be best to boost your vitamin D levels by taking a daily supplement.
Past research shows that vitamin D may protect against high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease.