Catching Some Rays: Good for Your Heart?

CBS News has the story on a new study, led by Harvard School of Public Health professor Edward Giovannucci, that found that men with low Vitamin D levels had more than double the risk of heart attack...

CBS News has the story on a new study, led by Harvard School of Public Health professor Edward Giovannucci, that found that men with low Vitamin D levels had more than double the risk of heart attack, compared to other subjects in the study.

Vitamin D is produced when sunlight hits the skin. It occurs naturally in some foods, including fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, and it is added to milk in the United States.

Vitamin D protects against osteoporosis by promoting the absorption of calcium; less is known about how it might work to protect the heart. In the interview, Giovannucci suggests that people may need even more than the USDA's recommended daily allowance (200 units until age 50, then 400 until age 70, and 600 thereafter).

Watch the video or read the story here.

In earlier research, Giovannucci, who is also associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, found that vitamin D may also protect against cancer. Read more about it in the Harvard Magazine archives here.

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