There are a lot of evidences about the health benefits of Vitamin D for certain issues like bone health and nutrient absorption. However, a new study, first of its kind, from the University of Copenhagen has found a link between cardiovascular deaths and both too-low and too-high levels of vitamin D in the blood.
Published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Peter Schwarz, MD, of the University of Copenhagen's department of clinical medicine, and colleagues reported on deaths in a cohort of nearly 247,574 patients. They followed the participants for seven years and analyzed the data of the 16,645 who died during the period of the study. Apparently, in the 16,645 patients who died, 5,454 died due to cardiovascular disease.
Before, doctors have long known the bad effects of low levels of Vitamin D in the body. That is why they often recommend supplementation. However, according to Dr. Peter Schwarz, professor in the Department of Clinical Medicine at the University of Copenhagen and study author, the relationship between cardiovascular deaths and too-high Vitamin D levels is a new information that needs thorough study and attention.
"We found this inverse J-shaped curve of mortality -which was surprising, as we expected that vitamin D should reach much higher levels to cause damage," he told Yahoo Health. Apparently, the death risk from a cardiovascular disease or stroke increased two fold when Vitamin D levels were below the normal, 50 nmol/L and increased by a 1 to 3 ratio when the levels exceeded the normal level.
Peter Schwartz reiterated, "If your vitamin D level is below 50 or over 100 nanomol per litre, there is an greater connection to deaths. We have looked at what caused the death of patients, and when numbers are above 100, it appears that there is an increased risk of dying from a stroke or a coronary."
He added as reported in Science Daily, "In other words, levels of vitamin D should not be too low, but neither should they be too high. Levels should be somewhere in between 50 and 100 nanomol per litre, and our study indicates that 70 is the most preferable level."
Since this study is the first of its kind to suggest that not only too little amounts of Vitamin D is linked to risk of death but also high levels, it may have a big influence on the future intake of nutritional supplements and stricter recommendations for such.
"These are very important results, because there is such great focus on eating vitamin D. We should use this information to ask ourselves whether or not we should continue to eat vitamins and nutritional supplements as if they were sweets. You shouldn't simply up the dose to feel better. We should only consume such vitamins in close coordination with our GP," Peter Schwartz concludes.