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What's Up Magazine

The Latest on Vitamin D

Apr 08, 2015 02:00PM ● By Cate Reynolds
We’ve known, and written about, the importance of vitamin D for a long time—primarily, it allows us to absorb calcium and makes our bones and teeth strong, critical elements to our survival. The old “Sunshine Vitamin” is well respected in the scientific community, which probably explains the continued research into its properties and positive applications—as well as the effects of D deficiencies.

A small, recent study in Europe drew a link between vitamin D deficiency and poor brain function following cardiac arrest. As a matter of fact, the risk of poor brain function after such an event increased seven-fold if a vitamin D deficiency was present. Dr. Jin Wi, at the annual meeting of the Acute Cardiovascular Care Association (ACCA), explained, “Vitamin D deficiency increased the risk of poor neurological outcome after sudden cardiac arrest by seven-fold. The only factors that had a greater impact on poor neurological outcome were the absence of bystander CPR or having a first monitored heart rhythm that was non-shockable.”

Dr. Wi concluded: “A large, randomized clinical trial is needed to find out whether supplements of vitamin D can protect high risk groups from having a sudden cardiac arrest.”

Bottom Line: The most efficient, easiest, and cheapest way to get vitamin D is to expose yourself to sunlight—it makes the body produce D. Fifteen minutes a day should do the job, while still protecting us from damaging UV rays. A brief walk at lunchtime is an easy prescription to fill.

--Sarah Hagerty
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