Brain and Body

Vitamin D Could Help Repair Damaged Hearts

April 7, 2016 | Johannes Van Zijl

Photo credit: Bruno Caimi/Flickr (CC by 2.0)

A recent study suggests a daily dose of vitamin D could help people with diseased hearts!

A five-year study by the University of Leeds have found that a daily dose of vitamin D3 improved the heart function in people with chronic heart failure. The study involved 160 patients from Leeds who were being treated for heart failure using proven medications that included beta-blockers, ACE-inhibitors and pacemakers.

Half of the participants in the study were asked to take vitamin D3 every day for a year, and the other half took a placebo. The researchers, led by Dr. Klaus Witte from the Leeds School of Medicine and Consultant Cardiologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, found that those who took vitamin D3 experienced an improvement in the heart’s pumping ability while there was no change in heart function among those who took the placebo.

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“This is a significant breakthrough for patients,” Witte said, in a news release. “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 diagram

Vitamin D3 has been found to have other important functions in the human body. The vitamin can be boosted by exposure to sunlight, or can be taken in a supplement form as illustrated in the figure above.

It’s believed that more than 23 million people suffer from heart failure around the world, these latest findings provides meaningful hope that those suffering might find benefit from getting their daily dose of vitamin D, which may help to restore heart function over time.

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