TAKING vitamin D supplements could help protect against heart failure in older patients, experts believe.

Regular use of the tablets does not appear to help ward off heart attacks or stroke but people who took them regularly did appear to have a lower risk of dying from cardiac failure, a study of more than 5,000 people found.

The research, which comes after studies suggesting a link between low vitamin D levels and conditions such as MS, was carried out by scientists from Aberdeen and Dundee universities with the University of East Anglia, and the University of Auckland. Lead researcher Dr John Ford from the University of East Anglia's Norwich Medical School said: "There needs to be further research into whether a supplement could be beneficial."

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