Unlike most people, infants, elderly people, dark-skinned people and individuals living in high latitude locations often do not get adequate sun exposure, which leads to vitamin D deficiencies. Vitamin D is necessary for the health of the brain, central nervous system, and the immune system. The compound additionally helps regulate insulin levels. Boca Raton home care professionals have recently learned that a group of scientists from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom found that vitamin D3 also shows promise for heart patients.
Sunlight transforms cholesterol in the skin into calciol or vitamin D3. The substance is then converted into calcidiol D3 by the liver. The kidneys transform calcidiol into calcitriol, which is the active form of vitamin D3. A lack of sunlight, medications, and decreased kidney or liver function inhibit necessary steps in the process. However, cardiac patients are known to exhibit a lack of vitamin D3 regardless of the amount of time spent in the sun.
The group of UK scientists were determined to better understand the problem and were curious as to what effect a supplement might have on heart patients. Their study involved 163 elderly heart patients whose average age was 70. Half of the group was provided with vitamin D3 supplements, and the other half was given placebos.
In order to determine if the supplement offered any benefits to patients having weakened hearts, the researchers evaluated each participant’s ejection fraction. The term refers to the amount of blood that the heart pumps out of the chambers with each beat. In healthy people, the ejection fraction is typically anywhere from 60 to 70 percent. Patients diagnosed with heart failure exhibit rates of around 25 percent.
The volunteer group receiving daily vitamin D3 supplements demonstrated an improved ejection fraction rate of up to 34 percent. The patients taking the placebo showed no cardiac function improvement.
The team reports that the results of the study are the first of their kind in more than a decade of research. As the vitamin supplement is readily available, inexpensive, and poses relatively few minor side effects if taken as directed, the study concluded that D3 offers new hope to heart failure patients.
While we are known for our Alzheimer’s care Boca Raton families trust, we offer a number of care services to help seniors who are recovering from illness or injury, need regular safety monitoring, or who could simply use a little extra help throughout the week. To learn more, give us a call at (561) 826.9282 and speak with a friendly Care Manager today.