Vitamin D3 may help treat, prevent heart damage: study

Vitamin D3 may help treat, prevent heart damage: study

Vitamin D3 - produced in the body naturally when exposed to sunlight - may significantly restore damage to the cardiovascular system, a study claims.

Researchers at Ohio University in the US found that vitamin D3 can prevent or heal the damage to the cardiovascular system caused by several diseases, including hypertension, diabetes and atherosclerosis.

Vitamin D3 supplements are also available over the counter.

"Generally, vitamin D3 is associated with the bones. However, in recent years, in clinical settings people recognise that many patients who have a heart attack will have a deficiency of D3," said Professor Tadeusz Malinski.

"It does not mean that the deficiency caused the heart attack, but it increased the risk of heart attack," said Malinski.

In the study published in the International Journal of Nanomedicine, the researchers used nanosensors to see why vitamin D3 can be beneficial, especially for the function and restoration of the cardiovascular system.

The team has developed unique methods and systems of measurements using nanosensors, which are about 1,000 times smaller in diameter than a human hair, to track the impacts of vitamin D3 on single endothelial cells, a vital regulatory component of the cardiovascular system.

A major discovery from these studies is that vitamin D3 is a powerful stimulator of nitric oxide (NO), which is a major signalling molecule in the regulation of blood flow and the prevention of the formation of clots in the cardiovasculature, researchers said.

Additionally, vitamin D3 significantly reduced the level of oxidative stress in the cardiovascular system, they said.

These studies show that treatment with vitamin D3 can significantly restore the damage to the cardiovascular system caused by several diseases, including hypertension, atherosclerosis, and diabetes, while also reducing the risk of heart attack, researchers said.

The studies, performed on cells from Caucasian Americans and African Americans, yielded similar results for both ethnic groups, they said.  

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