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Copyright © 2018 Natural Medicines (www.naturalmedicines.com)
July 2014

Vitamin D Might Protect Against Heart Failure

New research suggests that vitamin D supplementation in older people might protect against heart failure, but not heart attack or stroke.

The major role of vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which forms and maintains strong bones. It is used alone or together with calcium to improve bone health and decrease fractures. Vitamin D may also protect against osteoporosis, high blood pressure, cancer, and other diseases.

In a new study, researchers analyzed data from the Randomised Evaluation of Calcium Or vitamin D (RECORD) study, in which 5,292 participants were randomly assigned to receive 800 IU of vitamin D3, 1000 mg of calcium, vitamin D plus calcium, or placebo, daily, to assess their potential effects on heart disease-related events. The researchers also conducted two additional data analyses.

Data on heart disease-related events was collected throughout the RECORD study and for 3 additional years after treatment ended. The researchers found that the people receiving vitamin D alone or vitamin D plus calcium had a 25% reduced risk of heart failure compared to the other groups. However, supplementation did not benefit stroke or heart attack risk.

In an additional data analysis, the researchers conducted a comprehensive literature search for well-designed clinical trials evaluating the effects of vitamin D on heart disease-related events. Twenty-one studies were ultimately identified for inclusion. The researchers found that when comparing vitamin D use to no use, taking vitamin D was associated with an 18% reduced risk of heart failure. As with the RECORD study, there was no benefit for stroke or heart attack risk.

The authors concluded that vitamin D supplementation might protect against heart failure, but not heart attack or stroke. Further research is warranted.

For information about vitamin D, please visit Natural Standard’s Food, Herbs & Supplements Database.

For information about integrative therapies for heart disease, please visit Natural Standard’s Comparative Effectiveness Database.

References

  1. Ford JA, MacLennan GS, Avenell A, et al. Cardiovascular disease and vitamin D supplementation: trial analysis, systematic review, and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jul 23
  2. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine. 

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