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Vitamin D testing may help men gauge their heart disease and stroke risk, as a new study from a team of Harvard School of Public Health researchers has found that low levels of the nutrient may be linked to increased odds of suffering a cardiovascular event.
After studying more nearly 119,000 adults for a period of 20 years, the researchers found that men who got more than 600 international units per day were 16 percent less likely to develop heart disease or suffer a stroke.
The researchers said that previous studies have shown that vitamin D plays a role in the function of cardiovascular tissue, but there was little evidence to suggest that higher levels of the nutrient were directly associated with improved health outcomes.
They added that their findings show that increasing vitamin D consumption for men should be considered a major part of reducing heart disease and stroke risk.
"These observations suggest that a higher intake of vitamin D is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in men but not in women," the team wrote in their report. "Further research is needed to confirm these findings and to elucidate a biological basis for potential sex differences."
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