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Vitamin D For Heart Health

Vitamin D And Diabetes Mellitus

What vitamin D does for your heart

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with disorders of insulin synthesis, secretion, and sensitivity. Experimental evidence highlights mechanisms by which vitamin D may influence glycaemic control these include modulation of pancreatic RAS activity and regulation of calcium ion traffic across -cells that directly affect insulin synthesis and secretion. Furthermore, vitamin D deficiency results in aberrant immune responses that precipitate an inflammatory milieu and subsequent insulin resistance.,,

However, discrepancies in experimental and clinical evidence underscore knowledge gaps in determining the relationship between vitamin D metabolism and glycaemic control. For example, while human adipocytes express membrane-bound VDR that modulates lipolysis and lipogenesis activity in vitro, VDR null murine models exhibit a lean phenotype and increased energy expenditure, associated with adipose tissue atrophy. Further, models heterozygous for VDR show a similar, albeit less severe phenotype. Alternatively, increased adiposity and body fat mass observed in most insulin-resistant subjects may partly account for the lower 25-OH D levels seen in this population, as lipid-soluble vitamin D may be sequestered in adipose tissue, thus decreasing 25-OH D bioavailability.

Vitamin D deficiency and epidemiology of diabetes mellitus

Vitamin D therapy in diabetes mellitus

So What Does This Research Mean For You

This is where it gets tricky. Just because the research indicates a relationship between low vitamin D and cardiovascular disease doesnt mean low vitamin D causes heart problems. In fact, Elina Hypponen, PhD, director of the Australian Centre for Precision Health and lead author on the European Heart Journal, says its very likely that low vitamin D is simply an indicator of poor health. Because we get the majority of our vitamin D from the sun, people who cant or dont get outside very often are more likely to be deficient. This includes people with chronic diseases or disabilities that prevent them from spending much time outside, people who spend most of their time at home for any reason , as well as people who, for cultural or religious reasons, cover the majority of their skin while out in the sun.

Of course, spending too much time unprotected in the sun has risks, too. People who lay out in the sun all day are at risk for skin cancer, Dr. Michos says, adding that short amounts of time make a difference. In the summer, standing outdoors for 15 minutes at noon would be enough. So dont ditch your sunscreen.

Whats more, theres risk of taking too much vitamin D, especially because its a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it tends to stick around for longer than water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C. If you take too much vitamin C, you pee most of it out. If you take too much vitamin D, the extra hangs around in your fat.

The Sunshine Vitamin That Delivers On Cardio Health

06 December 2021

Free from the sun, vitamin D delivers a natural source for one of the hormones essential to our bodies, especially the bones. But when youre down on this essential nutrient, its not only your bones that could suffer, but also your cardio health, according to new research from the University of South Australia.

In the first study of its kind, researchers from the UniSAs Australian Centre for Precision Health at SAHMRI have identified genetic evidence for a role of vitamin D deficiency in causing cardiovascular disease.

The study, which is published in European Heart Journal today, shows that people with vitamin D deficiency are more likely to suffer from heart disease and higher blood pressure, than those with normal levels of vitamin D*. For participants with the lowest concentrations the risk of heart disease was more than double that seen for those with sufficient concentrations.

Globally, cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives per year. In Australia, CVD accounts for one in four deaths and costs the Australian economy five billion dollars each year, more than any other disease.

Low concentrations of vitamin D are common in many parts of the world, with data from the UK Biobank showing that 55 per cent of participants have low levels of vitamin D and 13 per cent have severe deficiency .

Notes to editors:

Also Check: What Do You Need Vitamin D For

Vitamin C And Heart Health

Research has shown that vitamin C can reduce the risk of plaque buildup, or atherosclerosis.When atherosclerosis occurs, white blood cells called monocytes cells stick to the endothelium cellsâthese are the cells that line the interior surface of all blood vessels. When this begins, the vessel walls thicken and lose their flexibility, which can eventually lead to plaque buildup in the arteries.

A British study discovered that subjects who had low intakes of vitamin C had a 30% higher chance of monocyte adhesion to the endothelial cells, which put them at a higher risk of atherosclerosis. The researchers then gave those subjects proper levels of vitamin C. After six weeks, the occurrence of monocyte adhesion to the endothelial cells decreased by over 37%.

Vitamin D May Improve Cardiac Function For Those With Heart Failure

Nature

Studies have shown that theres a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and chronic heart failure.1According to the American College of Cardiology, those with heart failure who are deficient in vitamin D are at greater risk of dying from that condition.2 And those with extremely low levels of vitamin D are more susceptible to other chronic conditions.

Another study, found in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, reported that those with chronic heart failure who received vitamin D supplements for 12 months showed improved cardiovascular function compared with those who took the placebo.3 In all, the authors of the study point to the possibility of vitamin D supplements as an aid for improving cardiac function in those with heart failure.

Also Check: Is It Healthy To Take Vitamins Everyday

What Is Vitamin D

Vitamin D, often referred to as the sunshine vitamin, is a fat-soluble nutrient most well-known for its ability to help your body absorb calcium. This action helps to build strong teeth and bones and maintains bone health at large. Vitamin D also aids in overall immune system functioning, and a deficiency in it could possibly lead to poor cardiovascular conditions and risk factors.

Vitamin D comes in two main forms, D-2 and D-3. And you can get it in three different forms: vitamin D rich foods, supplements, and sunlight. Of course, like any vitamin or mineral, there are multiple factors that play a part in just how much you need, such as age.

Vitamin D Is Good For The Bones But What About The Heart

Please note: This article was published more than two years ago, so some information may be outdated. If you have questions about your health, always contact a health care professional.

Vitamin D plays an important role in overall health, but if you’ve been taking supplements to strengthen your heart, recent research may disappoint you.

Although vitamin D is best known for its role in developing strong bones, low blood levels have been linked to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. But recent studies found vitamin D supplements did not bolster heart health.

“Initially there was a lot of enthusiasm for vitamin D treatment for cardiovascular disease, and this was based on observational data,” said Dr. Erin Michos, an associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore.

“The link was that individuals who have low blood levels of vitamin D have increased risk of a lot of bad things,” she said, “including increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, heart failure and even increased risk of death. It was a really strong association.”

But associations don’t always mean causation. In June, an analysis in JAMA Cardiology that included 21 clinical trials showed vitamin D supplements do not reduce the risk of having or dying from a heart attack or stroke.

VITAL researchers soon will report results on other outcomes, including heart failure, diabetes, cognition and autoimmune disorders, she said.

Read Also: When Should I Take My Vitamin D

What Causes A Vitamin D Deficiency

Our bodies produce vitamin D naturally when out in the sunlight. But things like less time spend outside or use of potent sunscreen can all be linked to being vitamin D deficient. Theres also some other factors you should know about.

  • One major cause for obesity is obesity, this is because the fat cells absorb a lot of the vitamin D and stop our bodies from using it.
  • Another reason is people with darker skin have more melanin in their skin causing them to be able to produce less vitamin D.
  • Another possible factor comes with age, as we get older our bodies become less effective at synthesizing vitamin D from the sunlight.
  • Also women commonly have lower levels of vitamin D because they tend to have more body fat, also they are more lucky to wear hats or use sunscreen compared to men.

Wrapping Up

More than just healthy bones, the vitamin D impacts much of our bodies and how the body regulates. Whatever your reason for being deficient there is something you can do. Either spending more time outside around 15-30 minutes with face and arms exposed, or even supplemeations is a great way of getting the vitamin D in, if thats not for you another possible way would be through fortified foods such as milk and cereals, or whole foods like fatty fish, tuna or salmon. Whatever way you want to get it, much sure youre getting it, could be a whole heap of negative health conditions from being deficient.

Vitamin D And Statins

Vitamin D effects on heart health

There has been some debate around whether statins could stop us making enough vitamin D because statins lower cholesterol. In reality, we have more than enough cholesterol to make vitamin D, even if you take statins. Its more important to make sure youre getting enough time in sunlight or getting enough vitamin D from foods or supplements.

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Getting Vitamin D From Sunlight

To make vitamin D, you need sunlight on your skin. From April until the end of September its possible to get enough vitamin D by spending time outside.

For most people, you only need to be outside for short periods of time, for example around 20-30 minutes. Although the exact time isnt known because its different for different people. If you have dark skin, for example if youre of south Asian, African or African Caribbean origin, you will need longer in the sun.

You need to have some skin exposed, for example, your forearms, hands and lower legs. But you can still make vitamin D even if you sit in the shade.

Sitting inside by a sunny window doesnt count because glass filters out the UVB rays the type of light that is needed to make vitamin D.

In the UK, we dont get enough vitamin D from sunlight between October and March, because the light doesnt contain enough UVB rays. During this time, we need to rely on getting enough vitamin D from food, and possibly supplements.

The guidelines in the UK are that everyone should consider taking a vitamin D supplement in the winter, especially if youre more like to have a deficiency.

Vitamin D And Cvd Risk Factors

There is evolving data about the possible relationship of vitamin D with CVD risk factors, some of which are summarized in this section. Figure 2 summarizes hypothesized mechanisms underlying the interrelationships among vitamin D deficiency and several CVD risk factors.

Hypothesized mechanisms underlying the interrelationships among vitamin D deficiency, cardiovascular disease risk factors such as insulin resistance, hypertension and diabetes.

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How Much Vitamin D Is Enough

Adults and children over the age of one need 10mcg of vitamin D per day. This is the same for everyone, including people at risk of vitamin D deficiency and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Babies up to one year old need 8.5-10mcg of vitamin D per day. Find out more about how you can reach this from the NHS.

Sun Exposure Provides Additional Benefits For Cardiovascular Health

VitaStrength

The effects of the sun go well beyond the production of vitamin D. For example, in addition to vitamin D-producing UVB light, the sun also emits UVA light which initiates the production of nitric oxide in our bodies. Benefits from increased nitric oxide production include dilated coronary arteries, lowered blood pressure, and reduced risk of angina a condition characterized by severe chest pain and inadequate blood supply to the heart. In fact, research suggests that avoidance or lack of sunshine may be a risk factor for increased blood pressure and death from heart attacks, with one study concluding that avoidance of sunshine resulted in a shorter life expectancy comparable to the shortened life expectancy of smokers!

Read Also: What Vitamins Do Vegetarians Need

Essential For Bone Health

This doesnt mean that vitamin D supplementation has no role in maintaining health.

Vitamin D deficiency was once the cause of a bone development disorder called rickets that affected children in the 19th and early 20th century.

The ailment causes bone to soften and develop improperly and can also still an issue in developing countries.

According to Barbarawi, while vitamin D supplementation shouldnt be taken for the purpose of preventing cardiovascular disease, there are reasons for some people to use it.

This does not mean that patients should not take it if they need it to improve their low vitamin D levels, he said, as this will help to maintain good calcium levels and prevent diseases that include osteoporosis, osteomalacia, and chronic kidney disease.

But according to Mark Peterman, MD, a cardiologist at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, the nutrient may still benefit cardiovascular health indirectly.

Vitamin D has positive effects on bone health and quality of life, in so much as these facilitate an active lifestyle, cardiovascular health should also improve, Dr. Peterman told Healthline.

, 1 in 12 children in the United States has asthma.

Findings from a 2017 study suggest that being vitamin D deficient could significantly increase a childs risk of developing asthma.

Vitamin D may even help prevent children with asthma from experiencing attacks due to air pollution, according to recently research.

Gudimetla agreed.

Make Sure Your Levels Of The Above Are Supportive Of Your Heart Health

Having and maintaining healthy vitamin D and other nutrient levels can help improve your health now and for your future. Choose which to measure, such as your vitamin D, omega-3s, and essential minerals including magnesium and zinc, by creating your custom home test kit today. Add hs-CRP to measure your level of inflammation as well. Take steps to improve the status of each of these measurements to benefit your overall health. You can also track your own intakes, symptoms and results to see what works best for YOU.

Enroll and test your levels today, learn what steps to take to improve your status of vitamin D and other nutrients and blood markers, and take action! By enrolling in the GrassrootsHealth projects, you are not only contributing valuable information to everyone, you are also gaining knowledge about how you could improve your own health through measuring and tracking your nutrient status, and educating yourself on how to improve it.

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Consider Vitamin D Supplements

Food alone sometimes doesnt provide a sufficient amount of vitamin D, so your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter supplement. You can find vitamin D as a stand-alone supplement, combined with calcium, or as part of a multivitamin. These supplements are available as pills or as liquids that you mix into foods.

There are two main forms of the vitamin: D2 and D3. Some researchers have reported that vitamin D3 works better for increasing vitamin D levels in the blood. The recommended daily intake of vitamin D for adults between ages 18 and 70 is 15 micrograms or 600 international units . Adults over 70 should aim for 20 mcg or 800 IU. The recommended amount may be different if you have a deficiency or for other health reasons.

Taking a vitamin D supplement with food isnt necessary, but it can help enhance absorption.

MyHeartDiseaseTeam members frequently discuss taking vitamin D supplements, along with other vitamins. I have vitamin D deficiency and take vitamin D3 daily with calcium, and it has helped in bringing my levels up, one member wrote.

My vitamin D level is very low in blood work, and now I will be on prescription-strength vitamin D for 12 weeks, one tablet each week, another member wrote.

I was also prescribed 50,000 IU of vitamin D per week after blood work showed very low levels, one member shared. After about two or three weeks, I could feel the results. Now after six months, I take 50,000 every other week.

What Does The Research Say About Vitamin D & Covid

Arterial Stiffness and Vitamin D

Its TIME to start saving lives! If you can help PREVENT the majority of the death, its time! Whats it costing you/us not to take action NOW?

There is much published research that supports a clear link between vitamin D and COVID-19 showing that higher vitamin D levels are related to:

Be sure to educate yourself on the benefits and importance of vitamin D for immune health, and take steps to ensure you and your loved ones are getting enough.

You can review all of the COVID-19 and immune health information we have shared on this page.

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Vitamin D Therapy And Cardiovascular Outcomes

Vitamin D deficiency has been implicated as an independent risk factor for incident cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality in several large prospective studies.,, To date, less than 60 randomized trials have reported cardiovascular outcomes, and less than half of these were designed with any a priori cardiovascular endpoints.,,

The Women’s Health Initiative, with pre-specified cardiovascular secondary efficacy endpoints, is the largest randomized trial of vitamin D therapy to date. One year following randomization of 36 282 postmenopausal women to hormonal replacement therapy and/or dietary modifications, participants were asked to participate in a double-blinded vitamin D plus calcium supplementation trial. After 7 years of follow-up, rates of incident myocardial infarction and coronary disease related death, revascularization, confirmed angina, strokes, and transient ischaemic attacks did not differ between the treatment and placebo groups. Interestingly, post hoc analysis in women not taking vitamin D or calcium at baseline revealed significant decreases in colorectal and breast cancer incidence, but not in fractures or overall mortality.

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