Vitamin D and Heart Disease
Vitamin D may prevent heart disease, especially in men. The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, reported that men who took 600 IU of vitamin D a day were 28 percent less likely to suffer from heart disease or stroke, as compared to men who took 100 IU or less a day.
So how much should you take? Healthy adults should take 600 IU (international units) of vitamin D daily. People over age 70 should take 800 IU.
Sunlight is a natural source as it helps our body produce vitamin D, just 10 to 15 minutes exposure will do it. But that can be a challenge for people who live in northern climates, especially in the winter months when the rays of the sun are not strong enough to produce the required amounts of vitamin D in our bodies.
Other sources include oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines; foods fortified with vitamin D like milk, yogurt, orange juice and some ready-to-eat cereals; and vitamin supplements. You could also take a tablespoon of cod liver oil which has 1,360 IU.
But more is not necessarily better – above 4,000 IU a day the risk of adverse effects increases. If you want to make sure you are getting enough vitamin D, contact your doctor about having your level check through a blood test.