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High vitamin D levels cut heart disease and diabetes risk

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High levels of naturally occurring vitamin D can cut the chances of heart disease or diabetes by 43%, according to researchers.

Humans get 90% of their necessary vitamin D from sunshine so the researchers recommend sensible exposure in the summer - 30 minutes twice a week for the face and arms with no sunscreen. Oily fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel can work with sunshine to give adequate protection, they said.

The study examined naturally occurring vitamin D rather than supplements, said author Dr Johanna Parker, based at a Birmingham GP practice.

“We recommend people eat a healthy diet with two to three portions of oily fish a week and five portions of fruit and vegetables,” he added.

Researchers reviewed 28 existing studies on almost 100,000 people looking at vitamin D levels among the middle-aged and elderly. The team, from Warwick Medical School, examined the effect of the vitamin on cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

The research was published in the journal Maturitas.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Edward Hutchinson

    From September through to March it's simply impossible to obtain vitamin D3 from sunlight in the UK for the simple reason insufficient UVB reaches the ground. Similarly people living in urban environments make less vitamin D because the ozone pollution of urban atmosphere absorbs the UVB so less reaches ground level. Because UVA radiation degrades Vitamin D and is reflected from hard surfaces people living in towns NOT ONLY make less Vit D3 they also find it degrades faster in their bodies. Town dwellers have lower 25(OH)D status than rural folk despite or perhaps because they are getting more UV exposure but less UVB.
    Diet at best can only provide 10% of our daily Vitamin D needs. The rest for city folk has to come from sunbed or supplement use. The alternative is a higher rate of chronic illness.

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