Sunday June 14, 2008 (foodconsumer) — Taking vitamin D supplements may help prevent heart failure, acceding to researchers from the University of Michigan.
Robert U. Simpson Ph.D. and colleagues found treated with activated vitamin D, heart muscle cells were less likely to grow bigger.
Hear muscle cells growing can lead to enlargement of the heart, a condition known as hypertrophy that prompts the heart to overwork, leading to heart failure.
Heart failure affects an estimated 5.3 million Americans. Many people with heart disease or poorly controlled blood pressure experience a form of heart failure called congestive heart failure in which the heart can’t pump blood around the body and cause weakness and fluid build-up in lungs and limbs.
The current study was meant to examine the effect of (1, 25 dihydroxyvitamin D3, a form called calcitriol) on heart failure in rats fed with a normal diet or high salt diets, comparable to high salt diets that humans use.
The rats used in the study were predisposed to develop human-like heart failure. Rats fed high salt diets are more likely to have heart failure.
At the end of the 13-week study, the researchers found the heart failure-prone rats on the high salt diet, treated with calcitriol had significantly lower levels of several key predictors of heart failure than rats on a high sale diet, but untreated with vitamin D.
Those treated with vitamin D had lower heart weight and the left ventricles of their hearts were smaller, meaning they were less likely to have enlarged heart. Also these rats worked less for each beat while blood pressure was maintained.
Lower hear weight was also observed in rats fed a normal diet.