Vitamin D and Heart Health: Do Supplements Help?

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What do we know about the relationship between vitamin D levels and cardiovascular risk? Image credit: Sam Burton/Stocksy.
  • Vitamin D is essential for good health, and its precise effect on various aspects of health and the mechanisms that underlie it are the focus of much research.
  • Previous studies have linked this nutrient to better heart health.
  • Researchers at the Swiss Nutrition and Health Foundation have found an association between vitamin D supplementation and a reduced risk of cardiovascular events.
  • No association was found between taking vitamin D supplements and heart disease risk or overall death risk.

Vitamin D is one of the essential nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. Not only does it help keep bones strong, but it also supports the body’s immune system and helps regulate cellular functions throughout the body, including brain cells.

Over the past few years, there have been many studies to join Vitamin D for other potential health benefits, including better heart health.

Now, scientists at the Swiss Nutrition and Health Foundation in Applings, Switzerland are adding to this research with a new study that shows an association between low vitamin D levels and a higher risk of cardiovascular events.

However, there was no association between normal vitamin D levels and lower heart disease or overall death risk. The same results were found when removing participants who took vitamin D supplements.

The study was recently published in the journal Nutrients,

According to Dr. Cheng-Han Chen, an interventional cardiologist and medical director of the Structural Heart Program at Memorial Care Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills, CA — who was not involved in this study — doctors believe vitamin D is a Affects heart health in complex ways. its impact on many cardiovascular risk factors,

For example, some studies have shown that very low levels of vitamin D will increase One’s blood pressure, which is a risk factor,” he explained. medical news today,

,further studies [found that] Low Vitamin D Levels May Affect glucose resistanceWhich is a risk factor for diabetes. And other studies have shown that low vitamin D levels can increase levels bad cholesterol, which is again a risk factor [for cardiovascular problems],” He mentioned.

Additionally, previous studies show that Add Between vitamin D deficiency and obesity, which is also a risk factor for heart disease.

“I think this research adds to the good general advice that everyone should have their vitamin D levels checked regularly by their primary care physician,” Dr. Chen said. “And for those found to have very low levels, we would recommend that they receive vitamin D supplements.”

Although a lot of research has been done on vitamin D and heart disease, the results are inconsistent, said Dr. Polyana Patriota, a researcher at the Swiss Nutrition and Health Foundation in Applings, Switzerland, and the study’s first author.

“Vitamin D’s role in heart disease is still under investigation Discussion And there is no strong evidence that vitamin D supplementation can improve heart health,” she said. M.N., “Similarly, whether providing dietary supplements to patients at high cardiovascular disease risk and vitamin D deficiency is beneficial with respect to cardiovascular disease outcomes should be further investigated.”

“Cardiovascular disease remains a leading cause of mortality worldwide, and despite advances in therapeutic approaches, effective prevention strategies which requires Diet Certainly an important component,” Dr. Patriota said.

He said he and his colleagues decided to study the effect of vitamin D on heart health because previous studies assessing this relationship had several limitations, such as the diversity of participants and short follow-up periods.

“Therefore, we decided to study the association between vitamin D levels and cardiovascular events, cardiovascular mortality and overall mortality in an apparently healthy, population-based sample living in Lausanne, Switzerland.”

For this study, Dr. Patriota and his team recruited approximately 5,700 participants from Lausanne, Switzerland – slightly more of whom were women. All participants had vitamin D levels that were classified as normal, inadequate or deficient. Scientists assessed the participants’ health for an average of about 14 years.

Upon analysis, researchers found an association between better vitamin D levels and a lower risk of heart disease.

However, the study found no association between low levels of vitamin D and an increased risk of deaths from heart disease or overall causes.

“This is a population-based study, in a very specific population, that is, a community-dwelling, apparently healthy population,” Dr. Patriota said. “We suggest that larger studies should be developed to clarify the effects of vitamin D supplementation on cardiovascular health.”

the body is capable Make skin when vitamin d exposed to sun, However, sometimes it does not produce enough vitamin D, making supplementation necessary.

A person can increase his Vitamin D by consuming dietary supplement And eating foods rich in vitamin D, such as egg yolks, beef liver, some mushrooms, fatty fishes – such as salmon, tuna and mackerel – and fish liver oil.

Various types of food items are also available in the market in many countries. Strong With vitamin D, that includes milk, cheese, plant-based milk alternatives, orange juice, yogurt and cereals.

Most of the times if a person is deficient in Vitamin D there will be no symptoms, This is why it is important to have vitamin D levels checked regularly by a doctor.

However, very low vitamin D levels can sometimes result in certain symptoms, including:

In addition to heart disease, previous research suggests that low levels of vitamin D may increase a person’s risk for infections, autoimmune diseases, neurological diseasesand some types cancer,

Dr. Patriota points out that it is unlikely that a single vitamin can improve cardiovascular health:

“The most important behavioral risk factors for heart health are inadequate diet, physical inactivity, tobacco useand harmful alcohol use, Therefore, lifestyle changes – stopping smoking, adopting a healthy diet and increasing physical activity – are important to improve cardiovascular health.

However, Dr. Patriota said vitamin D deficiency should be detected and treated, especially in populations at risk for vitamin D deficiency.

“Vitamin D supplementation is not recommended for the general population in most countries,” he said. “People at risk of vitamin D deficiency need to get their vitamin D levels adequately measured. If a risk for deficiency or insufficiency is identified or diagnosed by a specialized professional, supplements may be prescribed.

“There are appropriate vitamin D supplements for different conditions,” Dr. Patriota said. “The risk of using vitamin D supplements without professional guidance is that high levels of vitamin D may promote hypercalcemia, hypercalcification of tissues, renal overloadand other clinical complications.

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