As the winter closes in and hours of sunshine grow less common, people who are concerned with their health may want to consider taking supplements that contain vitamin D.
One reason that people may be concerned about their levels of vitamin D is that many studies have recently linked a deficiency in the vitamin to cardiovascular problems.
A new review in the journal Circulation reveals that a body of research has connected a lack of vitamin D to a number of different heart-related health conditions.
Heart disease patients who did not have adequate levels of the sunshine vitamin were found to be 30 to 50 percent more likely to die prematurely than those with satisfactory levels, the scientists.
"Chronic vitamin D deficiency may be a culprit in heart disease, high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome," commented study author Sue Penckofer of the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and Loyola University.
She called for doctors to include a measurement of vitamin D levels as part of a regular checkup of at-risk patients.
According to the Mayo Clinic, vitamin D has been found to be beneficial for a number of health conditions, including muscle pain and osteoporosis.