Vitamin D3 improves heart function in people with chronic heart failure according to the research from the School of Medicine at Leeds Teaching Hospitals.
Vitamin D has multiple roles in the body, helping to:
- Maintain the health of bones and teeth
- Support the health of the immune system, brain and nervous system
- Regulate insulin levels and aid diabetes management
- Support lung function and cardiovascular health
- Influence the expression of genes involved in cancer development.
Vitamin D is produced when sunlight converts cholesterol on the skin into calciol (vitamin D3). Vitamin D3 is then converted into calcidiol (25-hydroxyvitamin D3) in the liver. The kidneys then convert calcidiol into the active form of vitamin D, called calcitriol (1,25-hydroxyvitamin D3). As such, statins and other medications or supplements that inhibit cholesterol synthesis, liver function or kidney function can impair the synthesis of vitamin D.
A new research sowed that a daily dose of vitamin D3 improves heart function in people with chronic heart failure, who were already being treated for their heart failure using proven treatments including beta-blockers, ACE-inhibitors and pacemakers.
Dr Klaus Witte, from the School of Medicine and Consultant Cardiologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said: “This is a significant breakthrough for patients. It is the first evidence that vitamin D3 can improve heart function of people with heart muscle weakness — known as heart failure. These findings could make a significant difference to the care of heart failure patients.”
Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, can be produced in the body with mild sun exposure or consumed in food or supplements. It is estimated that sensible sun exposure on bare skin for 5-10 minutes 2-3 times per week allows the body the ability to produce sufficient vitamin D.
However vitamin D has a half-life of only two weeks, meaning that stores can run low, especially in winter. Recent studies have suggested that up to 50% of adults and children worldwide are vitamin D deficient. Therefore supplementation during the winter months is highly recommended. For the best results take good quality, highly absorbable Vitamin D3 with K2.