There have been a series of recent reports about the many benefits of Vitamin D. Now, a group of U.S. researchers has concluded that low Vitamin D levels dramatically increase the risk factors for Cardiovascular disease, particularly hypertension and thickening of the heart and blood vessels.

In a review published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (December 9, 2008) the authors state “Vitamin D deficiency is an unrecognized, emerging cardiovascular risk factor that should be screened for and treated”.

Citing data from the long-running Framingham Heart Study, the review observes that patients with low Vitamin D levels were twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke as those with ample amounts of the vitamin.

The review authors offer the following protocol to restore and maintain healthy levels of Vitamin D: 50,000 IU of Vitamin D daily for 8 to 12 weeks followed by 1,000 to 2,000 IU daily subsequently for ongoing maintenance.

Vitamin D Deficiency Common in Young Children:

Parents should be aware of mounting evidence that a large proportion of toddlers and young Children are being found to have insufficient amounts of Vitamin D.

Numerous published reports have shown low levels of Vitamin D are contributing to poor bone growth and mineralization in youngsters and that this is not being diagnosed and treated in a timely way by physicians.

Writing in the June 2008 issue of Pediatrics, lead author Sasigam Bowden, MD wrote, “Due to the number of recent studies of healthy children or adolescents with a high prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency, the public should be aware of the fact that it is common”.

In response, the American Academy of Pediatrics announced in early October 2008 that it was doubling the recommended daily intake of Vitamin D for infants and children to 400 IU beginning from the first days after birth. Dr. Frank Greer, MD chair of the Academy’s Committee on Nutrition said “Supplementation is important because most children will not get enough Vitamin D through diet alone”.

Robert McMaster, Science Director, Nature's Source.