Soak up the sun to avoid heart failure

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of deaths worldwide. Heart failure is a life-threatening condition, wherein the heart is unable to pump sufficient blood and oxygen to nourish the tissues of the body. 

Increasing evidence suggests that vitamin D often called the “sunshine vitamin,” can prevent heart disease. A recent study has revealed that individuals with severe vitamin D deficiency are more prone to heart attacks. Moreover, a new study published in the journal Heart Lung and Circulation, reveals that vitamin D also helps in the healing of the heart post heart attacks. It prevents the build-up of scar tissues in the heart which protect against consequent heart failure after suffering a heart attack.

What is vitamin D?

Vitamin D is actually a hormone, not a vitamin. Vitamin D can be synthesized by our body when sunlight is absorbed by the skin. Vitamin D receptors have been reported in all tissues including the immune system, brain, heart etc. It does an impressive amount of work.

Vitamin D deficiency is mostly asymptomatic. However, a severe shortage may cause tiredness, aches, severe bone, muscle pain, stress fractures, especially in legs, pelvis, and hips

Heart failure & vitamin D

There are 8-10 million estimated heart failure patients in India alone, of which 23% patients die within one year of diagnosis. Hence, scientists are keen to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between the nutrient and heart health.

It is estimated that sun exposure on bare skin for at least 10 minutes for two to three times a week allows most people to get a sufficient vitamin D. The ideal time to bask in the sun is between 11 am and 1 pm, since the UVB exposure is maximum during this period.

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