February 17/Coventry, England/Coventry Evening Telegraph -- Consumers who get plenty of vitamin D can cut their chance of developing heart disease or diabetes by 43%, researchers at Warwick Medical School have said. Sunshine and oily fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel can provide adequate protection.
The researchers reviewed 28 studies on almost 100,000 people looking at vitamin D levels among middleaged and elderly people; they examined the effect of the vitamin on cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
One of the study authors, Dr. Johanna Parker, who works in a Birmingham (England) GP practice, said, "The research we conducted looked at naturally occurring vitamin D rather than supplements. We recommend people eat a healthy diet with two to three portions of oily fish a week and five portions of fruit and vegetables.
"Most (90%) of your vitamin D comes from sunshine so we recommend sensible sun exposure in the summer. People should expose themselves for 30 minutes twice a week.''
From the March 8, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition Special: Heart Health