is not merely a vitamin; it is more of a hormone. The effects of
vitamin D in maintaining bones are well known. Vitamin D has also been used to
prevent other conditions like psoriasis
and certain cancers
A recent study
found that the level of LDL was reduced in postmenopausal
who received daily supplements of vitamin D and calcium for a
period of two years. LDL-cholesterol increases the thickness of blood vessels
and reduces blood flow to the heart, which can precipitate a heart
Though the study was relatively small, it points out
to the possible benefits of vitamin D in protecting against heart disease.
However, it must be remembered that excessive vitamin D can also be harmful and
therefore should not be indiscriminately used.
Vitamin D Rich Foods
Vitamin D can be formed by the skin when exposed to
sunlight. In addition, several foods are rich in vitamin D. These include:
Fatty fish like salmon
and tuna and fish liver
Foods fortified with vitamin D which may include
cooking oil, orange juice, milk, yogurt
and ready-to-eat cereals.
When you get a cholesterol test done, you will come
across several values. Here is a rough guideline on how to interpret them:
Total cholesterol level: The level indicates the
total cholesterol level
in the blood. It should ideally be less than 200 mg/dL;
a level of 240 mg/dL or higher is considered high.
cholesterol level: The LDL cholesterol is notoriously related to heart disease.
It should ideally be maintained at a level of less than 100 mg/dL and less than
70 mg/dL in people who are at a high risk or suffer from heart disease. A level
of less than 130 mg/dL is acceptable in most patients.
VLDL cholesterol is also considered as a bad
cholesterol, whose levels should be maintained between 5 and 40 mg/dL.
cholesterol: While it is necessary to keep cholesterol levels low, there is one
type of cholesterol - HDL cholesterol - which is good for the heart. Therefore,
higher levels of HDL cholesterol are actually beneficial. Levels above 40 mg/dL
in men and 50 mg/DL in women are considered desirable.
1. Schnatz, Peter F. et al. Calcium/vitamin D
supplementation, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations, and cholesterol
profiles in the Women's Health Initiative calcium/vitamin D randomized trial.
Menopause doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000188.