Low vitamin D levels linked to cardiac death

November 18, 2008 in Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements

Low vitamin D levels linked to cardiac death
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with heart dysfunction, sudden cardiac death, and death due to heart failure, say researchers from the University of Heidelberg, Germany.

In this new study, the researchers assessed blood levels of vitamin D in 3,299 Caucasian people with clogged arteries in their hearts.  

During the seven year follow-up, 116 patients died from heart failure and 188 from sudden cardiac death.

Compared with people who had optimal blood levels of vitamin D, those with severe vitamin D deficiency were found have three times greater risk of death from heart failure. 

A five-fold increase in risk of sudden cardiac death was seen in the study participants who had the lowest blood levels of vitamin D.

It's thought that vitamin D may affect the contractility of the heart. Previous studies have shown increase risk of heart disease due to low blood levels of this important vitamin.

The Canadian Cancer Society recommends 1,000 IU (international units) of the vitamin D daily during the fall and winter months.  Many Canadians get too little vitamin D from sun exposure, especially in the winter months.  

To determine the dose of vitamin D you need to take, add up how much you're already getting from your multivitamin and calcium supplements.  Choose a vitamin D supplement that contains vitamin D-3, instead of vitamin D-2 which is less potent.

This study was published in the October 2008 of Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.  

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.