Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lack of sunshine may be bad for heart (and soul)

No longer does the lack of sunshine in winter months just give you SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), but it may also give you heart disease.

As if winter weren’t bad enough already.

A recent CNN article highlighted the importance of vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin) in your diet. Long added to milk because the vitamin increases the absorption of calcium, your body can also create its own vitamin D simply by being in the sun for 10 to 15 minutes a day (without sunscreen).

Researchers studied groups of people without history of heart disease and found that those with diminished levels of vitamin D in their system were 77 percent more likely to die than those with adequate levels, 45 percent more likely to develop cardiac disease, and twice as likely to experience heart failure during the year-long study.

So next time you see a ray of sunshine in the dreary winter sky, bundle up and take a walk—it’ll strengthen your heart in more ways than one.