With a population of over 5 million people, Denmark has an excellent community of citizens to choose from for many types of studies. One of the more recent studies has been an attempt to determine additional ways to keep hearts healthy. The primary goal is to reduce heart disease, which in turn will decrease the numbers of early deaths due to heart attacks and other heart problems. It is a shock to realize this particular cause of death kills millions of people each year.

The “Copenhagen City Heart Study” is one of the studies designed to identify likely causes of heart problems. Over ten thousand adults participated in the program. Imagine the surprise of Danish researchers to find a link between the development of heart disease and low levels of vitamin D.

Commonly referred to as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, vitamin D can add this remarkable breakthrough to its list of benefits in the human body. Sufficient amounts of this nutrient appear to be an important step in preventing disease. Other studies have determined a deficiency leads to weakened bones and raised blood pressure. Add in the critical issue of heart disease, such as angina, arteriosclerosis and heart attacks, to see why doctors are so enthusiastic about the study’s findings.

The results lead to the belief that the heart is at risk when the body does not have enough vitamin D. In addition, the low levels can indicate a general condition of unhealthiness. Researchers continue to evaluate the data so they can determine the interaction between low levels of vitamin D and the heart. A 64 percent higher risk of heart attack and 81 percent higher risk of death from heart disease are two of the findings from the Copenhagen study.

Reduced exposure to sunshine is partly to blame for lower levels of vitamin D. Many jobs require employees to be indoors much of the day. A person’s doctor is familiar with their health and can recommend how much sunshine is advisable, whether it is 15 minutes or more. Supplements can also help the body work more effectively in an attempt to delay or prevent heart disease due to lack of the sunshine vitamin.