D: New way to treat heart failure?
June 14 (IANS) The list of benefits conferred by Vitamin D
has just got longer. It also keeps the heart fit as a fiddle,
besides developing strong bones, healthy immune system and
protection against cancer, according to new research.
studies on rats, Robert U. Simpson and his team at the University
of Michigan have reported the first concrete evidence that
treatment with activated vitamin D can protect against heart
with activated vitamin D prevented heart muscle cells from
growing bigger - called hypertrophy - in which the heart becomes
enlarged and overworked, sometimes leading to heart failure.
also prevented heart muscle cells from the over-stimulation
and increased contractions associated with the progression
of heart failure.
failure is a progressive, disabling condition in which the
heart becomes enlarged as it is forced to work harder and
harder, even for routine daily activities.
heart patients or those with poorly controlled high blood
pressure go on to experience a form of heart failure called
congestive heart failure, in which the heart's inability to
pump blood around the body causes weakness and fluid build-up
in lungs and limbs.
people with heart failure, who tend to be older, have been
found to be deficient in vitamin D.
failure will progress despite the best medications,” said
Simpson. “We think vitamin D retards that progression and
protects the heart."
and colleagues have explored vitamin D's effects on heart
muscle and the cardiovascular system for more than 20 years.
back in 1987, when Simpson showed the link between vitamin
D and heart health, the idea seemed far-fetched and research
funding was scarce. Now, a number of studies worldwide attest
to the vitamin D-heart health link.
findings of the study are being published in the forthcoming
issue of the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology.