On the Possible Link Between Vitamin D Deficiency and Cardiovascular Disease
Should We D-Lighten Our Lives?
We were all supposedly black in the beginning. As man migrated out from the equator, a progressive depigmentation took place. For this to occur, strong evolutionary forces in favor of less pigmentation must have been present in regions with low solar exposure. We do not know toward what end such an advantage might have been working, but a main hypothesis is that in regions with low sun ultraviolet (UV) radiation, less pigmented individuals would need less time in the sun to avoid vitamin D deficiency. This, in turn, might have helped avoid respiratory tract infections, tuberculosis, and influenza—conditions that have proven lethal over the course of time.1 Because, in most populations, females have less pigmented skin and approximately twice the risk of vitamin D deficiency as males, female reproduction may be involved in an evolutionary advantage, that is, improved fertility, fewer miscarriages, or fewer pregnancy complications. Even a small increase in successful reproduction per generation will make a great difference in the long run, favoring skin pigmentation adapted to a particular region.
Lower Risk of Excess Mortality
Individuals with heart failure, hypertension, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases (CVD) tend to have lower vitamin D levels than others.2 In addition, manifestations of CVD are more common during the winter season, when vitamin D levels are …