Heart attacks occur mostly in older people – 65 years of age for males and 72 years of age in females. Additionally, your chance of a heart attack increases as you age.
However, according to the largest study of its kind by a team of researchers in Australia, the risk of heart attack or other cardiovascular events is reduced in older people if they take one vitamin D supplement per month.
Observational studies have consistently shown a link between vitamin D levels and the risk of cardiovascular conditions. However, randomised controlled trials previously found no evidence that supplements prevented cardiovascular events.
Now this randomised controlled trial that involved more than 21,000 people over the age of 60 has found that these supplements can reduce this risk.
The researchers stressed that the absolute risk difference was small, but said this was the largest trial of its kind to date and that further evaluation was now warranted.
“These findings indicate that vitamin D supplementation might reduce the incidence of major cardiovascular events,” the Australian authors wrote. More trials were needed, but they said it suggested previous thinking that vitamin D supplements do not alter cardiovascular diseases risk was “premature.”
Health benefits of Vitamin D supplements
As well as slightly reducing the risk of cardiovascular events, Vitamin D supplements come with a wealth of health benefits including supporting immune health and helping to regulate mood and depression symptoms.
High levels of Vitamin D in the body helps to fight against other life-altering conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Covid-19, and not having enough Vitamin D has proven to increase the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Vitamin D also helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. In the UK, government advice is that everyone should consider taking a daily vitamin D supplement during the autumn and winter.