Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to several health problems, including bone fractures, osteoporosis and muscle weakness, but a new research suggests that taking too much of vitamin D can make the heart beat abnormally fast and out of rhythm, a condition called atrial fibrillation which may lead to heart failure and other heart-related conditions.
The study, involving 132.000 patients at a Utah-based medical center found that the risk of developing atrial fibrillation increased by 3-fold when the levels of vitamin D were high.
“Most people get their daily vitamin D needs from the sunlight. But in cold northern climates where people do not get enough sun are advised to take vitamin D supplements to protect the bones and heart,” said lead researcher, Dr. Jared Bunch, director of electrophysiology research at the Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah, as reported from MSNHealth.
“However, since many people absorb these supplements with different levels. The levels of vitamin D in the blood should be tested to ensure they are within the safe range. High levels of vitamin D usually occur when people consume supplements,” Jared Bunch explained.
“Vitamin D supplements are often regarded as a natural therapy to treat various diseases and as a means of disease prevention, but they do not realize the dangers of consuming too much of vitamin D.”
The normal range for vitamin D intake was 41 to 80 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dl). Patients in the study who are at risk for heart problems have been shown to had an excessive levels of vitamin D, readings above 100 ng/dl.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the recommended daily intake of vitamin D for people aged 1 to 70 is 600 IUs. Recommendations are made based on the sufficient amount for bone health.
There are natural food sources for vitamin D, including tuna, salmon, cheese, egg yolk, and milk. Oily fish such as tuna or salmon are among the best. For example, 3 ounces of cooked salmon contains 447 IU of vitamin D per serving.
Jared advised people who recently have been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and are taking vitamin D supplements should have a checked to make sure the doctor has examined the levels of vitamin D in their blood. High levels of vitamin D in the blood are thought to have reversible effects on cardiac rhythm.