Consume foods with vitamin D every day: its deficiency would increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases

Salmon is one of the foods that provide vitamin D.

Photo: Anastasia Yudin / Pexels

Vitamin D is very important for the body. Nor just for bone health and immune system, but also for cardiovascular health.

Vitamin D is a nutrient that the body needs for various functions. Vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to the findings of researchers at the University of South Australia in a new study published in the European Heart Journal.

The body uses vitamin D to absorb calcium. It is also needed by muscles for movement and by nerves to transmit messages between the brain and other parts of the body. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Vitamin D is also essential for the immune system to fight the bacteria and viruses that attack it.

Vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults (a disorder that causes bone pain and muscle weakness). When you don’t consume this essential nutrient, not only your bones can suffer, but your cardiovascular health as well.

The NIH also notes that vitamin D is important for heart health and blood vessels and maintain normal blood pressure.

The study just published in the European Heart Journal shows that people with vitamin D deficiency are more likely to suffer from heart disease and higher blood pressure than those with normal vitamin D levels.

How to get vitamin D

The body produces vitamin D when bare skin is exposed to the sun. However, clouds, smog, old age, and dark skin all reduce the amount of vitamin D produced by the skin.

“Deficiency can be a problem for people who live in residences and who may have limited sun exposure,” says Elina Hyppönen, lead researcher on the study.

The NIH notes that skin exposed to sunlight through a window does not produce vitamin D.

We can also obtain vitamin D from food and dietary supplements. Foods highest in vitamin D include cod liver oil, trout, salmon, and white mushrooms exposed to UV light. Fortified foods can also include vitamin D,

When vitamin D is consumed through supplements, it is best absorbed when taken with a meal or snack that contains some fat, since it is a fat-soluble vitamin.

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