A recent study published in the British Medical Journal revealed promising results regarding the potential benefits of vitamin D supplementation in reducing the incidence of major cardiovascular events, particularly heart attacks and coronary revascularization. The D-Health trial, a large-scale randomized, double-blind clinical study, involved over 21,000 Australian participants aged 60 to 84. Half of them received monthly doses of 60,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D3, while the other half received a placebo. The trial found a 19 percent lower rate of heart attacks and an 11 percent drop in risk for coronary revascularization in the vitamin D group, compared to the placebo group.
Despite this positive outcome, some prior studies, like the VITAL study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), didn’t show significant benefits of vitamin D supplementation in reducing cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Critics have pointed out flaws in the VITAL study, such as participants in the placebo group being allowed to take up to 800 IU of vitamin D daily, potentially influencing the results. While vitamin D’s role in heart health is well-established, obtaining adequate levels solely from diet is challenging, making supplementation a viable option for many individuals.
The current recommended daily vitamin D3 supplement is 600 IU, with experts suggesting higher doses of up to 10,000 IU daily may have additional health benefits. However, regular testing of vitamin D blood levels is crucial to determine the appropriate dosage and avoid potential toxicity. While the D-Health trial shows promise, more research is needed to confirm the findings and understand the optimal frequency of dosage, whether it’s daily or monthly. Ultimately, individuals should consult with their healthcare providers to determine the best approach to vitamin D supplementation for their specific health needs.