Exercise and adequate vitamin D have long been independently implicated in reducing atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risks. Findings from a new study suggest that the two factors have synergistic beneficial effects on ASCVD risk.
Analysis of data relating to more than 10,000 adults showed that exercise levels positively corresponded to 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels in a direct relationship.
Twenty-one per cent of study participants were African-American, with the remaining participants identifying as white. White participants meeting recommended physical activity levels were 37 per cent less likely to have 25(OH)D deficiency while there was no significant association among African-Americans.
The study also found that the most active participants, with the highest vitamin D levels, had the lowest risk for future cardiovascular disease. Meeting recommended physicial activity levels was associated with a 22 per cent reduced risk of atherosclerotic CVD among participants with intermediate and optimal vitamin D levels, but not among those with vitamin D deficiency.
Writing in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism , the authors cautioned that their study is an observational one and that long-term carefully controlled clinical trials are needed to establish evidence for cause and effect.