Seniors with high levels of vitamin D have a significantly reduced risk of developing heart disease and diabetes, according to a comprehensive review of past studies.
Researchers from Warwick Medical School looked at 28 distinct studies involving nearly 100,000 participants of varying ethnic backgrounds. They found that high levels of vitamin D were associated with a 33 percent decreased risk of developing cardiovascular disease compared to those with low blood levels of the nutrient.
Moreover, the review revealed that increased vitamin D levels were linked to a 55 percent reduction in diabetes risk and a 51 percent decrease in the chances of developing metabolic syndrome.
"We found that high levels of vitamin D among middle age and elderly populations are associated with a substantial decrease in cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome," said Oscar Franco, assistant professor in public health at Warwick Medical School.
"Targeting vitamin D deficiency in adult populations could potentially slow the current epidemics of cardiometabolic disorders," he added.
Good sources of vitamin D include fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel. The nutrient is also available as a dietary supplement.