According to an article published on BBC’s website citing a study presented at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology, a trial on 163 heart failure patients found supplements of the vitamin D, which is made in the skin when exposed to sunlight, improved their hearts’ ability to pump blood around the body.
It is important to note that the average age in this study was 70 years of age and like many people that age, they had low levels of vitamin D even in the summer.
They study had the patients take either a 100 microgram vitamin D tablet or a sugar pill placebo each day for a year. The key for the researchers was what is known as the ejection fraction, the amount of blood pumped out of the chambers of the heart with each beat.
“In a healthy adult, the figure is between 60 and 70 percent, but only a quarter of the blood in the heart was being successfully pumped out in the heart failure patients. But in those taking the vitamin pills, the ejection fraction increased from 26 to 34 percent.” Interestingly, the research revealed that the patients’ hearts became smaller – a suggestion they are becoming more powerful and efficient.
In the UK, people over the age of 65 are advised to take 10 microgram supplements of the vitamin.
It is also not clear exactly how vitamin D is improving heart function, but it is thought every cell in the body responds to the vitamin.
More studies need to be conducted before vitamin D is routinely prescribed.
Razi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.