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Low Vitamin D Levels a Marker for Atherosclerosis

Considering vitamin D deficiencies are common among type 2 diabetics, I'm not at all surprised to learn the same connection also applies to atherosclerosis, the disease process leading to heart attack and stroke.

Italian scientists compared the vitamin D levels of 390 type 2 diabetics to an equal number of healthy patients in addition to measuring the amount of atherosclerotic plaque (cartoid artery intimal thickness) during the winter.

Like the earlier study (also conducted by some of the same researchers), scientists found low vitamin D levels were an independent, strong predicator of atherosclerosis, further evidence Prof. Robert Scragg of the University of Auckland was right some 16 years ago, when he discovered diminished vitamin D levels were strongly associated with heart disease.

With winter creeping into the northern hemisphere, however, getting the right amount of vitamin D the healthy, simple way -- safe exposure to sunshine -- is problematic at best. If you're unable to get the sunshine your body needs to produce enough vitamin D, I strongly recommend taking a high quality cod liver oil daily and monitoring your blood levels carefully and often.

Clinical Endocrinology, Vol. 65, No. 5, November 2006: 593-597

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