Vitamin D May Lower Heart Disease Risk
There's some positive news about vitamin D supplements--taking them regularly could both improve your exercise performance and also lower your risk of heart disease, according to new research at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The researchers gave 13 healthy adults either 50 μg of vitamin D per day or a placebo during a two-week period. The results showed that those who received vitamin D supplements had lower blood pressure and lower cortisol levels, as measured in urine tests, compared with the subjects who were given a placebo.
A fitness test also showed that the adults taking vitamin D were able to cycle 6.5 km in 20 minutes, compared with only 5 km at the beginning of the study. Plus, they showed lower signs of physical exertion after taking the supplements, based on their systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings.
By contrast, the placebo group showed no significant improvements in cardiovascular health or exercise performance.
The researchers said their next step is to perform a larger clinical trial for a longer period of time, and include both healthy individuals and athletes such as cyclists or long-distance runners.