THE HEART & VI­TA­MIN D

Is Your Heart Get­ting Enough Vi­ta­min D?

Great Health Guide - - CONTENTS - Dr Warrick Bishop

Vi­ta­min D is im­por­tant in the body be­cause it is cen­tral to the me­tab­o­lism of cal­cium in the pro­mo­tion of bone growth and in the for­ma­tion and main­te­nance of bone strength.

SOME KEY ROLES FOR VI­TA­MIN D IN HEART HEALTH: 1. Changes in lipid pro­file:

There is some work that sug­gests that Vi­ta­min D is as­so­ci­ated with the mod­u­la­tion of the lipid pro­file.

2. De­vel­op­ment of atherosclerosis:

It ap­pears that low Vi­ta­min D in the diet has a role in po­ten­tial de­po­si­tion of cal­cium within the ar­ter­ies dur­ing the de­vel­op­ment of atherosclerosis.

3. Side-ef­fects of statins:

There has been some re­search that has looked at the side-ef­fects of statins, i.e. medicines that are taken to re­duce choles­terol and a con­di­tion called myal­gia. This is the term given to the gen­eral aches and pains that are felt in the mus­cles, which are not dis­sim­i­lar to flu-like symp­toms that some peo­ple re­port as a side-ef­fect of statin ther­apy. Though there is no con­clu­sive ev­i­dence that Vi­ta­min D has an im­pact on these symp­toms, there is cer­tainly some sug­ges­tion that Vi­ta­min D might re­duce the risk of statin-re­lated aches and pains.

OTHER ROLES OF VI­TA­MIN D: 1. Risk of de­pres­sion:

There is re­search to sug­gest that Vi­ta­min D is as­so­ci­ated with de­pres­sion and one po­ten­tial im­pli­ca­tion of this find­ing is that if you spend less time out in the sun, there is a rea­son­able chance you are in­creas­ing your risk of de­pres­sion by re­duc­ing your ex­po­sure to sun­light.

2. Im­mune mod­u­la­tion:

Ad­di­tion­ally, there has been some in­ter­est­ing stud­ies done that sug­gest Vi­ta­min D has a role in im­mune mod­u­la­tion. For example, there are links that have been ob­served be­tween the fre­quency of the de­vel­op­ment of mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis and the amount of sun ex­po­sure. The in­ci­dence of mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis is greater as you move fur­ther and fur­ther north or south of the equa­tor.

3. Other fac­tors:

The con­di­tions be­low have been iden­ti­fied as be­ing as­so­ci­ated with Vi­ta­min D de­fi­ciency.

• obe­sity

• lighter skin pig­men­ta­tion

• be­ing a woman

• older age.

Our bod­ies nat­u­rally pro­duce Vi­ta­min D, via safe ex­po­sure to the sun on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. Con­sid­er­ing the sug­gested re­la­tion­ships be­tween the heart and Vi­ta­min D and the im­pacts and ef­fects of Vi­ta­min D de­fi­ciency, it’s prob­a­bly a good re­minder that we all en­sure we get our dose of Vi­ta­min D, via safe ex­po­sure to the sun on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. Re­moval of sun block, hats and gloves out in the gar­den won’t suf­fice; you need to make a con­certed ef­fort to pre­sent back, chest, ab­domen or legs to the sun to al­low ex­po­sure for a lim­ited time de­pend­ing

on the tem­per­a­ture and sea­son, but at the same time, avoid sun­burn. Vi­ta­min D is also found in some foods. These in­clude fish, fish liver oils, egg yolks, as well as some dairy and grain prod­ucts. Of course, there are nu­mer­ous Vi­ta­min D sup­ple­ments avail­able to pur­chase from your lo­cal phar­macy. Check your Vi­ta­min D. Since ad­e­quate Vi­ta­min D has such an im­por­tant im­pact on your health, it is cer­tainly worth hav­ing your Vi­ta­min D lev­els checked by your doc­tor. At the end of the day, Vi­ta­min D is free, so make the most of it!

Dr Warrick Bishop is a car­di­ol­o­gist with spe­cial in­ter­est in car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease pre­ven­tion in­cor­po­rat­ing imag­ing, lipids and life­style. He is au­thor of the book ‘Have You Planned Your Heart At­tack?’, writ­ten for pa­tients and doc­tors about how to live in­ten­tion­ally to re­duce car­dio­vas­cu­lar risk and save lives! Dr Bishop can be con­tacted via his web­site

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