Their findings were presented at a recent American Heart Association meeting. Dr. Tami Bair and Dr. Heidi May, of the Intermountain Medical Center in Utah, highlight yet another study that shows that vitamin D deficiency can keep the heart from functioning in optimal health.
And while the researchers aren’t suggesting that inadequate levels of vitamin D cause an unhealthy state of the heart, they do suggest a link between the two—especially in light of vitamin D’s role in supporting healthy blood pressure, inflammation and blood sugar levels. All of those are critical for overall heart health.†
Surprised? Thought so.
Vitamin D has long been known to assist with proper calcium absorption and for supporting bone health, but vitamin D does far more than that.† For instance, there’s increasing evidence that vitamin D is active in many aspects of metabolism.†
Dr. Joseph B. Muhlstein, a researcher with Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah, and one of the authors of the study says, “What’s been discovered in the last few years is a significantly greater role for vitamin D. There are perhaps 200 different important metabolic processes that use vitamin D as a co-factor.” That includes heart-related function.
“A growing body of evidence suggests that low levels of vitamin D may adversely affect the cardiovascular system,” says Thomas J. Wang, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. “Vitamin D receptors have a broad tissue distribution that includes vascular smooth muscle and endothelium, the inner lining of the body’s vessels. Our data raise the possibility that treating vitamin D deficiency via supplementation or lifestyle measures could support heart health."†
And the call for increased vitamin D intake continues.
In fact, in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 15 experts from around the world called for international agencies to “reassess as a matter of high priority” dietary recommendations for vitamin D because current advice is out of date and puts people at risk for deficiency. In fact, a review of the science indicated that the tolerable upper intake level for oral vitamin D3—which is 2,000IU in the U.S.—needs to be increased fivefold to 10,000IU per day.
James H. O’Keefe, M.D., director of preventive cardiology at the Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Mo., says, “Vitamin D deficiency is an unrecognized, emerging issue, which should be screened for and responded to. Vitamin D is easy to assess, and supplementation is simple, safe and inexpensive.”
So there you have it. Vitamin D…it’s one potent nutrient you don't want to come up short on.
† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.