Low Vitamin D May Increase Heart Attack Risk

Published: September 28, 2012

Simply optimizing vitamin D may be 40 times more effective at preventing heart attack deaths than cholesterol lowering medications—without the cost or toxicity!

In a study of 3,258 subjects (average age 62 years) suspected of having heart disease, those with low vitamin D levels had over twice the risk of dying from heart attack—or dying period—over the ~7-8 years they were followed in the study. The study compared the 50% of subjects with the lowest levels to the 25% with the highest vitamin D levels.

In addition, low levels of vitamin D were associated with higher levels of inflammation chemicals in the blood (C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 levels), and lower levels of the antioxidant glutathione. These are problems for both those with heart attacks and people with CFS/fibromyalgia.

Unfortunately, the RDA (a.k.a. "Ridiculous Dietary Allowance") for vitamin D is ~ 400 units daily. Because of the deadly advice to avoid sunshine, which makes 90% of our vitamin D, deficiency is now rampant. Vitamin D deficiency is estimated to cause over 85,000 unnecessary American cancer deaths yearly—in addition to many other problems (see Vitamin D Could Save Your Life!). The proper advice? Avoid sunburn—not sunshine!

I recommend 1,000-2,000 units of vitamin D a day, with higher levels in cancer patients (doses of 10,000+ units a day are very safe, unless you have high blood calcium from cancer in the bones, in which case check with your physician). A good multivitamin powder has 600 units (high for multi vitamins) and we will be increasing the amount in the powder soon. For those with loss of bone density (osteoporosis), a supplement that supports healthy bones contains 4,000 units of vitamin D daily, along with many nutrients that improve bone health dramatically. Vitamin D is also easy to find in health food stores. Meanwhile, get some sun! Lying on the beach for 15-30 minutes produces ~ 15,000-30,000 units of vitamin D.


"Independent association of low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin dand 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin d levels with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality," Dobnig H, Pilz S, et al, Arch Intern Med, 2008; 168(12): 1340-9.

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.

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