An increasing amount of research has pointed to vitamin D as a key ingredient in heart health. A vitamin D deficiency raises your risk for everything bad associated with heart health such as, an increased risk of heart attacks, congestive heart failure, strokes, peripheral arterial disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
What is Vitamin D
Vitamin D functions similarly to a hormone in that it regulates more than 200 genes in the body. It prevents abnormal cells from multiplying in the breasts and colon tissues. It helps to regulate blood pressure, specifically, in the kidney. And it helps to manage blood sugar levels in the pancreas.
Vitamin D Deficiency – Cause and Effect
Your body has the ability to produce vitamin D on its own through the utilization of the sun. But people with darker skin may find it more difficult to synthesize vitamin D from sunlight. And since more and more people are spending less time in the sun, vitamin D deficiencies are becoming more common.
Some other causes for vitamin D deficiency are:
- Obesity – fat cells absorb vitamin D and prevent it from circulating throughout your bloodstream.
- Darker skin pigmentation – people with darker skin pigmentation have melanin which functions as a natural sunscreen. This is good for protecting your skin from being burned but can prevent the vitamin D synthetization process.
- Women naturally have lower vitamin D levels than men because they tend to have more body fat than men and protect their skin from the sun more often.
- Age – age can lead to a vitamin D deficiency, because people naturally absorb less vitamin D as they get older. Older people also tend to spend less time being active outdoors.
- Location – people who live farther away from the equator are exposed to less ultraviolet light from November to February.