Vitamin D, also called “sunshine” vitamin, has been getting a lot of attention lately. It’s triggered naturally by your body when you’re out in the sun, as well as being a natural part of a few foods, an addition to others (like milk) and available as a supplement. Healthy people often take vitamin D supplements, sure they’re doing themselves good, but it’s important to understand that more isn’t better, and you might want to have a talk with your own doctor before you continue
Evidence is growing that vitamin D plays a pivotal part in our physiology, and a deficiency of this vital nutrient has been associated with cardiovascular events and death. Earlier studies have shown that supplementation doesn’t decrease these risks, while other research has found only minor beneficial effects.
When it comes to vitamin D, most people think the higher the level the better, but according to Yosef Dror, Ph.D. from Hebrew University in Rehovot in Israel who led the study, the findings suggest it is beneficial to do only moderate supplementation to keep levels of vitamin D in a very narrow range of serum calcidiol. It appears that people don’t need a lot of vitamin D, and too much could be trouble.
For the first time experts have calculated the upper safe limit of vitamin D. Go over this limit and the risk for cardiovascular events or death goes up significantly.
The large, population based study included 422,000 Israeli adults aged 45 years or older who had blood tests to determine vitamin D levels. The study ran for 54 months, and over that time 905 of the subjects died of acute coronary syndrome and 3933 were found to have acute coronary syndrome. The safe range in terms of coronary morbidity of vitamin D in the blood was found to be between 20 to 36 ng/mL, levels that are either below or above this range impacted rates of death significantly.
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Safe Upper Limit To Know About Vitamin D Continued…
More than 60% of the study population had insufficient blood levels of vitamin D, half had levels that are considered severely low and were associated with a 1.5 times higher risk of acute coronary morbidity or mortality. This has been found by other studies as well. What’s more, 3% of the subjects had levels of vitamin D that were over the top limit, 36 ng/mL, and this was linked to a 1.13 times higher risk of coronary morbidity or death. Giving supplements to the whole population might just jeopardize those who are in the upper-normal range. Perhaps supplementing, but with strict monitoring of blood levels, should be the strategy behind public health efforts. Supplement doses should be tailored to people based on the levels of vitamin D they have in their bloodstream.
Some experts including William B. Grant, MD of the Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center say this research is “not convincing”. He raises the point that subjects who had higher vitamin D levels when the study started were most likely supplementing with vitamin D, in response to a deficiency, and this could have undermined their health and the results.
The work has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM). The issue on measuring vitamin D at the population level is a subject of much interest and discussed most recently during the 2013 European Congress of Endocrinology.
To your good health,