Connect
To Top


Excess Vitamin D and Heart Problems


Q: I heard about a research study that reported that excess vitamin D can cause heart problems. Should I be concerned?

A: The study you’re referring to was presented at the American Heart Association conference: “Vitamin D Excess Is Significantly Associated With Risk of Atrial Fibrillation.”

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat, which is more common as people age. It occurs when the electrical impulse from the heart does not travel in an orderly fashion through the atria. Rather, many impulses begin at the same time and cause a disorganized heartbeat. Regular atrial fibrillation can be influenced by a number of health issues, including heart problems, hypertension and lung disease. It’s unclear if the increased association of atrial fibrillation with excess vitamin D in this study was due to the vitamin D or to other health concerns.

Take note that participants whose vitamin D levels were between 81 and 100 ng/ml had a 36 percent lower risk of hypertension than those classified as deficient, meaning below 20 ng/ml. Additionally, participants whose levels were between 61 and 80 ng/ml had a 52 percent reduction in diabetes compared with those who were deficient in vitamin D. The vast majority of participants had vitamin D levels that were below “excessive,” which was pegged at 100 ng/ml, while a small number (291 people, or 0.22 percent of the population) had a higher-than-excessive vitamin D measurement. The group whose vitamin D levels were above 100 ng/ml had a risk of atrial fibrillation that was 2.5 times greater than the below-100 ng/ml group.

So one takeaway here is that although the upper limit for vitamin D is still being established, there is evidence that you don’t want your own D3 levels to exceed 100 ng/ml for any length of time. Another takeaway: Get your vitamin D tested on a regular basis.

Rather than just following some arbitrary protocol such as “take 5,000 IU three times a week,” you should base your vitamin D supplementation on test results. Vitamin D can be affected by environment and lifestyle—for example, if you live in Las Vegas and frequently swim outside, your levels will probably be pretty good. So start by getting your blood vitamin D measured—independent tests range in price from $12 to $40 in most cities.

Ideally, I suggest having your vitamin D level tested once a month to give you a baseline measurement that will dictate how much you should take. For example, if you are deficient, you’ll need to use a dosing system to raise vitamin D levels. Then, I suggest a maintenance dose that is smaller. Also, remember that blood vitamin D often varies seasonally due to differences in the amount of sun you are exposed to.

Editor’s note: Charles Poliquin is recognized as one of the world’s most suc-cessful strength coaches, having coached Olympic med-alists in 12 different sports, including the U.S. women’s track-and-field team for the 2000 Olympics. He’s spent years researching European journals (he’s fluent in English, French and German) and speaking with other coaches and scientists in his quest to optimize training methods. For more on his books, seminars and methods, visit www.CharlesPoliquin.com. Also, see his ad on page 159.  IM


 

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Latest

  • Ditch The Diet Drinks

    A strategic use of a diet soda to get you through a sugar craving may keep your diet on-track, but a...

    Sharon OrtigasJuly 21, 2017
  • Fat Loss Strategies

    There is more than one way to skin a fat cat. A recent study published in the Journal Of Sports Science...

    Sharon OrtigasJuly 20, 2017
  • The Right Crash Diet

    Ketogenic diets seem to be the new hot thing … again. A form of ultra low-carb dieting (usually fewer than 20...

    Sharon OrtigasJuly 19, 2017
  • Perfect 10

    When time is short, hit one of these mini-blasters and get on with life. By Eddie Avakoff, owner of Metroflex LBC...

    Sharon OrtigasJuly 19, 2017
  • Omega Man

    How fish oil supplements can promote growth and combat crippling muscle soreness By George L. Redmon, PhD, ND   PQ: “These...

    Sharon OrtigasJuly 12, 2017
  • Micronutrient Madness

    A smoothie flavor standby is kicked into overdrive with a surprise ingredient. By Amanda Burrill, MS   Are you downing the...

    Sharon OrtigasJuly 11, 2017
  • Legend Training

    An industry veteran pays homage to an IFBB Hall of Famer with this timeless shoulder workout. By Tony Estrada   In...

    Sharon OrtigasJuly 10, 2017
  • Just Say NO

    Get the ultimate muscle pump with these proven nitric oxide boosters. By Jenevieve Roper, PhD, CSCS, CISSN, SFN   Let’s face...

    Sharon OrtigasJuly 7, 2017
  • The Magnificent Seven

    The best isolation exercises for hypertrophy. By Alexander Juan Antonio Cortes   Isolation exercises have been utilized for over a century,...

    Sharon OrtigasJuly 5, 2017