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HEADLINE STORY: Another study links vitamin D to lower risk of heart disease

Friday, August 28th, 2009

AUG. 28, 2009 — People with low vitamin D levels have almost double the risk of heart disease, according to new research from Washington University in St. Louis published in the journal Circulation in August.

2009-08-28-d-heartbeat-copy.jpg“Diabetics deficient in vitamin D can’t process cholesterol normally, so it builds up in their blood vessels. The research has not just identified a mechanism that links low vitamin D levels to heart disease risk, it might lead to a simple fix―increase levels of vitamin D,” the web site reported.

The web site quoted Dr. Carlos Bernal-Mizrachi, a Washington University endocrinologist who was the lead researcher in the study. “Vitamin D inhibits the uptake of cholesterol by cells called macrophages (often activated by diseases such as diabetes),” Bernal-Mizrachi said. “When people are deficient in vitamin D, the macrophage cells eat more cholesterol, and they can’t get rid of it. The macrophages get clogged with cholesterol and become what scientists call foam cells, which are one of the earliest markers of atherosclerosis.”

According to Bernal Mizrachi, that process accelerates when a person is deficient in vitamin D.

To read the FoodProductDesign article click here.

To read the abstract of the report in the American Heart Association’s journal “Circulation” click here.