Skip to main content

Research notes lack of vitamin D in one's diet can lead to serious conditions


BOSTON New research underscores that having too little vitamin D can contribute to heart disease, brittle bones, breast cancer, prostate cancer, depression and memory loss, according to the December 2009 issue of the Harvard Heart Letter.

Following are some of the highlights:

  • Calcium deposits that stiffen the arteries are more likely to develop in people with low levels of vitamin D. In one study, men low in vitamin D were twice as likely to develop heart disease;
  • Vitamin D decreases the kidneys’ production of renin, a hormone that boosts blood pressure. Several studies suggest that low vitamin D contributes to high blood pressure, and that getting more of the vitamin can help control blood pressure;
  • Some people who take a cholesterol-lowering statin stop because of muscle pain. In a study of 128 men and women with statin-related muscle pain, two-thirds of them had low vitamin D levels. Among those who took a vitamin D supplement, muscle pain disappeared in 90%;
  • Preliminary trials suggest that too little vitamin D can leave the body prone to infection, and having enough in circulation can help the body fight off the flu, tuberculosis and infections of the upper respiratory tract.

The Harvard Heart Letter noted that supplements are the best way to get vitamin D.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds