Recently released research has found that older people who take vitamin D supplements might increase their protection against heart failure, but that heart attack and stroke risks are not impacted.
Also, a new study has found that long-time use of vitamins C and E does not hike the risk of prostate cancer in users, which contradicts what previous studies have found.
The two studies were reported by The Natural Standard.
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According to the Standard, vitamin D plays a key role in helping people maintain proper blood levels of phosphorus and calcium. In addition, vitamin D prompts the body to absorb calcium, essential to forming and maintaining strong bones. Vitamin D can be used on its own or in tandem with calcium to increase bone health and reduce the risk of bone fractures. Vitamin D may also help prevent osteoporosis, cancer, high blood pressure and other conditions and diseases.
In a new study, the Standard reported researchers reviewed data from the Randomized Evaluation of Calcium or Vitamin D study, known as RECORD. During the study, 5,292 participants were randomly assigned 800 IU of vitamin D3, 1000 mg of calcium and vitamin D plus calcium, a placebo, each day to analyze the potential effects on heart disease events. Researchers also performed an additional two data analyses.
The data on heart disease-related issues was gathered during the RECORD study, and for another three 3 years after treatment ceased.
Researchers discovered that people who took vitamin D alone, or vitamin D with calcium, saw their risk of heart failure decline 25 percent compared to the other groups. But research indicated supplementation did not reduce the risk of stroke or heart attack.
In a separate data analysis, researchers did a comprehensive review of literature for sound clinical trials that evaluated the effects of vitamin D on heart disease. A total of 21 studies were ultimately selected for use. Researchers reported that when comparing vitamin D usage to no use at all, using vitamin D was linked with an 18 percent decreased risk of heart failure. Once again, no benefit for stroke or heart attack risk was revealed.
Study authors found vitamin D supplementation could protect against heart failure, but did not protect against heart attack or stroke. They also found additional research is warranted. In another report from the Standard, recent research indicates long-term use of vitamins C and E may not lead to a higher risk of prostate cancer, which contradicts previous findings on the subject.
Vitamin E use has been reviewed in relation to its possible benefits for prevention and treatment of myriad health conditions. Concerns about the safety of vitamin E supplements, especially when taken in large doses, have been raised.
In the recent study, the Standard reported that researchers reviewed data on 14,641 men who were at least 50 years of age from the Physicians’ Health Study II. Participant were randomly assigned 400 IU of vitamin E, taken every other day, and 500 mg of vitamin C daily – the placebo. The supplementation started in 1997 and ended in 2007. Data from participants was collected through June of 2011.
Throughout an average follow-up period of 2.8 years, 771 cases of cancer were found. Of those, 356 were prostate cancers. During the average 10.3-year period of follow-up, 2,669 cancer cases were found. Of those, 1,373 were prostate cancer.
Researchers reported no linkage between vitamin E use and the risk of prostate, or any other type of cancer. In addition, study leaders reported that vitamin C supplement use had zero effect on prostate cancer or total cancer risk.
Researchers reported vitamin E and C supplement use does not impact the risk of developing prostate cancer, or any kind of cancer, during the long or short-term.