A recent study published in 2018 has come to the conclusion that vitamin D supplements do not actually reduce your risk of obtaining stroke, heart attacks, or an invasive cancer. The study conducted a trial where participants took 2,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D or a placebo.
While researchers have long known of the correlation between having a low level of vitamin D in their blood and a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, strokes, heart failure, and atrial fibrillation. But while this correlation does exist, the new research suggests that increasing your vitamin D intake does not necessarily prevent heart disease or the development of cancer.
The trial participants were diverse, differing amongst each other in terms of gender, race, and age. Out of the participants taking vitamin D, 396 suffered from a heart attack or stroke, or died from some other type of cardiovascular disease. In comparison, 409 participants taking the placebo died from cardiovascular disease or stroke. The same insignificant difference was observed in the participants that died from cancer. Of those taking vitamin D, 793 were diagnosed with a type of invasive cancer including, prostate, breast, and colorectal cancers. 824 participants taking the placebo also died from invasive cancers.
What sets this trial apart from others that have tried to debunk the idea that vitamin D supplements are good for preventing heart disease is the size of the trial. Most trials attempting to debunk the vitamin D theory were done on a handful of participants. The amount of people participating in the trial is more convincing than just about any other smaller scale study. Although the trial shows that vitamin D supplements have a negligible effect on preventing heart disease, it does not mean that you should still avoid a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to cardiovascular disease and stroke.