Vitamin D is critical for normal heart function and heart health. In fact, studies consistently show that low vitamin D increases the risk of blood clots, heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and deaths.
But a recent meta-analysis tried to claim vitamin D has no effect on cardiovascular disease! And when I saw that the deeply flawed analysis made it into the mainstream press, I knew I had to get you the facts.
It turns out, this poorly designed study was conducted by a young doctor who seemingly wanted to get his name in the headlines. In fact, when he published the analysis, he was still just a wet-behind-the-ears resident at a hospital in Michigan. Which means he was conducting the original research when he was fresh out of medical school.
It’s not that I expected him to learn about diet, nutrition, and supplementation in medical school or even as a resident.
I’m sure he didn’t.
But still, the depth of his ignorance was truly profound…
Young doctor chose some truly pitiful studies to analyze
As I’ve always tried to explain, the strength of a scientific meta-analysis is only as strong as the studies it chooses to include and exclude.
In this case, the young doctor supposedly reviewed a staggering 7,816 studies on vitamin D. But he “cherry-picked” through just 21 of them for his analysis. And that incredible claim and arbitrary selection ratio alone raised a red flag for me.
Plus, only four of the studies he selected were actually designed to look at cardiovascular disease. Which means 17 of the studies weren’t even designed to study what he was trying to analyze!
Worse yet, the studies he chose involved participants who took pathetically low daily doses of vitamin D. One study even looked at the effect of a measly 100 IU of daily vitamin D on cardiovascular health. What a joke!
As a loyal reader, you already know that amount isn’t going to help cardiovascular health—or anything else! You need 100 times that measly amount daily!
If the young doctor had actually bothered to read all 7,816 studies, he would have noted that the doses of vitamin D associated with improvements in cardiovascular health are way, way higher than the laughably low Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) set forth by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). But most of the studies he selected didn’t even meet the RDA for vitamin D anyhow!
Plus, most people in this country are already deficient or insufficient in vitamin D to begin with, thanks, in part, to their unsafe addiction to toxic sunscreens. So, they need even higher doses of vitamin D daily to correct their deficiency!
Same old problems, time and again
This vitamin D debacle actually reminds me of a fish oil analysis that I discussed in detail in the June 2018 issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter (“Why I’m upping my recommendations for this ‘controversial’ supplement”). That analysis also made headlines, purporting to show that fish oil and omega-3s don’t benefit heart health. But—surprise, surprise—it also involved studies that used pitifully low and totally inadequate doses.
In the end, both of these useless studies show one thing:
An inadequate dose of a beneficial nutrient doesn’t work well.
No surprise there!
It’s like giving just 2 percent of a life-saving antivenom to a patient with a snake bite and expecting the patient to survive! It just won’t work.
And the problems with this D analysis don’t end there…
D study gets an “F” in my book
The vitamin D analysis also involved large numbers of participants who took calcium supplements—which actually increase the risk of heart disease and dementia.
It’s rather astounding…
Doctors continue to dither about giving decent doses of vitamin D. But they rush to prescribe calcium supplements, which increase the risk of heart disease and dementia. (Remember, always get your calcium from a balanced diet, which includes full-fat dairy, meat, and seafood. Never get your calcium from a supplement.)
Honestly, this drivel isn’t worth much more time and attention. But since it made headlines, I felt the need to present the real science to you.
In the end, despite what this young doctor may say he found, my recommendations remain the same:
- Continue to supplement daily with 10,000 IU of vitamin D. It’ll help you achieve optimal blood levels of vitamin D (50 to 60 nanograms/milliliter [ng/mL]), which are required for good cardiovascular health.
- Continue to spend 10 to 15 minutes in the sun daily without sunscreen. (I’ll tell you all about the problems with sunscreens in the upcoming August 2019 issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter. If you’re not yet a subscriber, now is the perfect time to get started!)
- Ask your doctor to check your blood levels of vitamin D twice a year. (Ideally, once at the end of summer and again at the end of winter.)
- Always discuss your family history and supplement use with your personal doctor.
“Vitamin D Supplementation and Cardiovascular Disease Risks in More Than 83 000 Individuals in 21 Randomized Clinical Trials.” JAMA Cardiology News, 2019. doi.org/10.1001/jamacardio.2019.1870