"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Long-term vitamin D supplements could reduce the chance of heart attack

July 5, 2023 – A recent study suggests that taking a high-dose vitamin D complement every month may result in a small improvement in heart attack risk in the long run.

Researchers in Australia randomly assigned greater than 20,000 adults between the ages of 60 and 84 to a 60,000 IU dose of vitamin D.3 or one placebo capsule every month for five years.

During the course of the study, 6% of subjects taking vitamin D and 6.6% of those receiving the placebo experienced a significant cardiovascular event reminiscent of a heart attack or stroke. This meant 5.8 fewer events per 1,000 people taking vitamin D.

There is a few evidence that folks who began the trial while taking statins or other heart medications could have had greater profit, but more research is required to verify that possibility, said Dr. Rachel Neale, a professor on the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Queensland, Australia, and lead creator of the study report, which was published online June 28. The BMJ.

Vitamin D is produced naturally by skin exposed to sunlight, so many individuals produce enough vitamin D and don't must take a complement, she explained. However, a vitamin D complement might help prevent deficiency in individuals who get little sun. Although the vitamin has been given in high monthly doses, a each day complement is probably going more helpful, Neale said.

“If you want to take a supplement, I would recommend a daily dose of no more than 2,000 IU,” she said.

The study's results might be as a result of likelihood, so it’s “premature” for doctors to recommend vitamin D supplements to forestall heart problems, warns Dr. Nour Makarem, assistant professor of epidemiology on the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York City.

“If you are over 60 years old, you should not take a vitamin D supplement based on the results of this study alone,” she said. Such decisions and the right dose ought to be discussed with the doctor, “taking into account your medical history and health status,” she said.