Stroke: Vitamin D deficiency can double the risk

A stroke kills millions of people around the world annually, but the number is declining year by year. Despite lower mortality, the burden is still growing as a result of aging populations. Taking measures to improve cardiovascular health through diet and exercise can lower the risk of stroke. A vitamin deficiency, common in the UK, may also need to be changed to lower your risk.

The team was not able to find a cause for this inequality, but speculated that it may be because black people are more prone to deficiency due to their skin pigmentation ability to block sun rays.

Erin Michos, assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and its Heart and Vascular Institute, theorized that black people may have adapted to this deficiency through generations.

“It may be that blacks through the generations have adapted to vitamin D deficiency, so we are not going to see any compound effects with stroke,” he noted.

“Higher numbers for hypertension and diabetes clearly explain some of the excess risk of stroke in black compared to white, but not so much risk.

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“There is definitely something else behind this problem. However, you should not blame vitamin D deficiency for the higher risk of stroke in blacks.”

Separate studies have also noted that the strong association between vitamin D levels and stroke in white people is limited to people who are severely deficient.

Other studies have argued that the view that vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for stroke is incorrect, suggesting that low vitamin D levels are instead a consequence of a stroke.

There is other evidence that vitamin D supplements can lower the risk of stroke and improve recovery.

This is because vitamin D is produced in the skin through the influence of sunlight.

So in the winter months, the nutrient must be extracted from food.

Eggs, oily fish, chicken and beef liver are all excellent sources of vitamin D, as are fortified milk, yoghurt and some breakfast products.

Daily vitamin D supplementation is recommended for anyone living in the UK during the winter months.

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