Moderate doses of Vitamin D3 may improve heart health and function, says a new British study.
The study leader Dr. Klaus Witte, from the University of Leeds School of Medicine, explained, “These findings could make a significant difference to the care of heart failure patients,”
“It is the first evidence that vitamin D3 can improve heart function of people with heart muscle weakness — known as heart failure.”
In the study, there were about 160 patients who had pacemakers and/or were receiving a blood pressure drug known as ACE inhibitors or beta blockers.
The study participants were given either Vitamin D or inactive placebo pills once a day.
Researchers avoided using a calcium-based Vitamin D supplement because calcium is linked to other problems for heart failure problems patients.
The improvements in the study included heart pumping function, which increased from 26 percent to 34 percent in patients who took Vitamin D, while there was no change among those who took the placebo, the researchers found.
The study was presented in Chicago at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology. Research presented at the medical conferences are typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Researchers inferred that the improvements seen in the patients who took Vitamin D might have a decreased need for an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). An ICD is a device that finds dangerous heart rhythm issues and delivers necessary shocks to restore a normal heartbeat.
Witte explained that ICD’s are expensive devices and involve an operation.
About 23 million people worldwide suffer from heart failure, the study authors said.
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