Eating diets rich in vitamin D and getting out in the Sun could help you reduce your chance of having a stroke, a new study has claimed.

Researchers at the University of Hawaii have found that a lack of vitamin D – which is n

aturally produced by the skin when exposed to strong sunlight and is also found in foods including nuts and oily fish – can raise stroke risk by more than a fifth.

Based on their 34- yearlong study involving about 7,500 middle- aged and elderly people, the team discovered that the quarter of people with the lowest vitamin D levels were at a 22 per cent higher risk of having a stroke than those in the top quarter.

Low vitamin D levels increased the chance of having the more common type of stroke, known as an ischaemic stroke, where a clot becomes lodged in a brain blood vessel.

However, low levels did not affect the likelihood of the other type, called a haemorrhagic stroke, caused by a burst brain blood vessel, the researchers found.

Dr Gotaro Kojima, one of the study researchers, said getting vitamin D from food or supplements was of greater importance for older people because synthesising the vitamin from sunlight becomes more difficult with age.

” Our study confirms that eating foods rich in vitamin D might be beneficial for stroke prevention,” Kojima was quoted as saying by the Sunday Telegraph.

” Based on the results of this and other epidemiological studies, higher vitamin D intake or vitamin D supplementation may be beneficial for stroke prevention,” Kojima advised. PTI GENERATES VITAMIN D

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