A new study is the first of its kind to show that there’s a very narrow window for healthy vitamin D levels. We’ve heard a lot about the benefits of vitamin D for issues like bone health and nutrient absorption, and even weight loss, but there might be a hidden risk for those who frequent the supplement aisle for high doses of this superstar nutrient.
New research from the University of Copenhagen has found an association between cardiovascular deaths and both too-low and too-high levels of vitamin D in the blood. Scientists and doctors have long determined that too-low levels of vitamin D can be harmful to overall health — and often recommend supplements, since vitamin D is generally obtained from sun exposure and isn’t readily available in the food supply. According to study author Peter Schwarz, MD, a professor in the Department of Clinical Medicine at the University of Copenhagen, the relationship between cardiovascular deaths and too-high Vitamin D levels is a new finding that’s worth our attention.
Mortality risk from a cardiovascular event or stroke seemed to jump roughly twofold when vitamin D levels fell below 50 nmol/L and increase by a 1 to 3 ratio when levels rose to over 100 nmol/L. Somewhere between 50 and 100 nmol/L seemed to be the optimum level, with roughly 70 nmol/L being the sweet spot. To put those numbers into perspective, if you wanted to raise your Vitamin D levels from 40 nmol/L to 50 nmol/L, you’d have to take a 1,000 IU supplement each day for several months to achieve your desired level of D.