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Study: Stroke risk and dietary vitamin D

Posted on: June 21, 2012   by  John Cannell, MD


“There is a growing body of evidence that vitamin D deficiency is associated with many conditions, including hypertension, insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus, cancers, infections, autoimmune diseases, heart failure, cardiovascular diseases, and stroke.” Those are not my words but the words of Dr. Gotaro Kojima and eight colleagues from the University of Hawaii. It was great to see those words begin a paper.

Kojima G, Bell C, Abbott RD, Launer L, Chen R, Motonaga H, Ross GW, Curb JD, Masaki K. Low Dietary Vitamin D Predicts 34-Year Incident Stroke: The Honolulu Heart Program. Stroke. 2012 May 24.

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8 Responses to Study: Stroke risk and dietary vitamin D

  1. [email protected]

    Could you ask the authors about the 8000IU group? WHERE did they get that level from food!?
    IF there is a Japanese food that supplies this, it would explain all sorts of things, like longevity, etc.

    Pete A

    • Brant Cebulla

      optionzz, I think it’s probably cod liver oil that people were taking, which the authors counted as food; which it pretty much is.

  2. Rick

    It would be interesting to see if other findings correlated with 25(OH)D levels: carotid plaques detected by carotid artery studies including angiograms, and whether any of these findings changed in people who had low 25(OH)D levels before starting a Vitamin D regimen. We all (even kids) shower platelet emboli, from time to time, by straining or by bumping one’s head–“seeing stars before one’s eyes,” comes from platelet emboli flowing through retinal arteries. These emboli may have launched from the internal carotid where they nested on normal endothelium or in the pits and etches of a plaque. Could Vitamin D possibly reduce the incidence of platelet emboli or clots? And if so, what is the mechanism.

  3. [email protected]

    I was surprised that such a poor study was every published.
    Based on a single day recall of what was eaten, the study tried to tease out associations to stroke 30 years later. Those people who happened to eat some fish on the day of the survey were assumed to have higher levels of vitamin D for the rest of their lives. This is bad science. The study also failed to ever measure the vitamin D levels, amount of time in the sun, obesity,other components of the diet, etc. etc.

  4. JBG

    I have to agree with lahore. The study as described would not seem like a basis for concluding anything. Citing it favorably here seems like a blot on the credibility of VDC.

  5. Brant Cebulla

    I disagree with a couple points. First off, at no point here does Dr Cannell laud the study design. He’s just simply giving you a recap. It’s up to you to decide the merits!

    As for the merits; it’s an interesting study, but by no means telling. A lot of epidemiological studies fall into this category. Doesn’t mean it’s not worth publishing.

    The authors retrospectively looked at data, so they only had intake to look at. I’m sure if they had blood levels (which they still don’t know how to measure in 1965) and sun exposure habits, they would have gladly published those results.

  6. JBG

    “… when followed over 34 years, a little bit may go a long way, especially in a pool of over 7,000 participants.”

    That certainly sounds like an endorsement to me, not to mention bringing it to our attention in the first place.

    I suspect Dr. C. was so pleased by the generalities at the beginning and end of the paper that he couldn’t resist mentioning it. I can understand, but I think it was a mistake.

    • Brant Cebulla

      A little bit does go a long way in a pool of 7,000 in the context of statistical significance! Not sure how that’s an endorsement.

      Again, we’re just briefing the public studies published on vitamin D. Why do you think it’s a mistake to review a new study that has flaws?

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