People with high levels of vitamin D almost halve their risk of developing heart disease or diabetes, claim researchers. They found those with lowest levels of the vitamin in their blood were at greater risk of a range of serious disorders.
The findings come from a review of 28 existing studies involving almost 100,000 people which looked at vitamin D levels among the middle-aged and elderly.
The research team from Warwick Medical School discovered a 43 per cent lower risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome among people with high levels of vitamin D. They claim most people can boost their vitamin D intake through diet and sun exposure - at lest 30 minutes twice a week.
There is mounting evidence that vitamin D could play a vital role in helping prevent disease and stopping elderly people suffering falls.
US researchers last year claimed vitamin D 'deficiency' may be to blame for 600,000 cancer cases worldwide each year, particularly in northern European countries where sun exposure levels are relatively low.
The latest study published in the medical journal Maturitas found those with high levels of vitamin D were 33 per cent less at risk of having cardiovascular disease compared to those with low levels. There was a 55 per cent reduction in risk of Type 2 diabetes and the risk of metabolic syndrome was halved.
'Overall, we found that high levels of vitamin D are associated with a 43 per cent reduction in cardiometabolic disorders,' said the researchers.