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The Takeway: The Exercise / Vitamin D Link; Romney Disses 'Perry Scheme' for Social Security

Exercise Boosts Vitamin D? I wouldn't compare 'vigorous exercise' to a ray of sunshine in very many circumstances, but it turns out there's one thing a good workout and a sunny day may have in common: Upping your levels of Vitamin D. At least that's the takeaway being touted from a new Harvard University study. Researchers, seeking to identify why regular exercise lowers heart attack risk, analyzed the activity levels and blood tests of over 1,200 men over a 10-year period. They found those who engaged in vigorous physical activity-running, jogging, playing  a sport-for three or more hours per week were 22 percent less likely to have a heart attack, which researchers attribute to the higher levels of good (HDL) cholesterol and Vitamin D and lower levels of hemoglobin A1c, a diabetes risk marker, and the blood protein apolipoprotein B. But lead researcher Andrea Chomistek cautions that the exercise/Vitamin D link might simply be a product of the increased time outdoors that many of the physically active men spent. Previous research has shown a link between sun exposure and vitamin D levels.

The fact that vitamin D plays a role in the relationship between exercise and risk of heart disease is a new finding," said Chomistek. "This likely comes from being outside more. People who exercise tend to be out in the sun, which raises their vitamin D level. I don't think you'd get the same increase in vitamin D by staying inside and running on the treadmill."

Okay: So vitamin D is good for your heart. And exercise is good for your heart. But it doesn't actually seem like the two are that connected after all ... 

Romney Talks Social Security With Retirees: Presidential candidate Mitt Romney yesterday spoke to residents from The Villages, Florida's largest retirement community.

Reassuring the crowd, almost all of whom were old enough to have started collecting their benefits, he explained, "Social Security is not going to change for anyone in this room." "Except for those two little ones right here," he joked, pointing at two grade-schoolers in the front row. (And they hardly seemed to mind that their plan might be changing down the road - after the event, they approach Mr. Romney for his autograph).

Romney said that he while he didn't believe Social Security was a 'Ponzi scheme' (as his fellow GOP contender Rick Perry has said), he was worried about it "becoming a Perry scheme" ( oh, politician humor! ...). The Romney campaign also released a web video yesterday attacking Perry's stance on Social Security.

Wednesday Quick Hits: Children of older fathers may be less intelligent ... Senate Democrats tweak President Obama's jobs bill ...  A.C. Nielsen, who built the television market ratings firm responsible for the notorious Nielsen ratings, dies at 92 ... Proposal would make it easier for private debt collectors to call consumers' cellphones ... And how this term's Supreme Court decisions could affect older Americans.

See "In the News" for more on current events, entertainment and how it all relates to you.

(Photo: Erik Isakson/Aurora)

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