Vitamin D & Heart Health
There are an estimated 1 billion people worldwide that are deficient in vitamin D.1 Vitamin D deficiency is a problem that affects all races and age groups, regardless of how much sun they receive. Vitamin D helps your body absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus, which are important for healthy bones. A lack of vitamin D may be associated with a host of chronic conditions including osteoporosis, heart disease, some forms of cancer, multiple sclerosis, and possibly infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and the seasonal flu.
How can I get Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is not found naturally in many foods and since it is considered important for maintaining good health it is often fortified in cereal and dairy products. The body synthesizes vitamin D from cholesterol in the skin, through a process that involves exposure to sunlight, but the widespread use of sunscreen impedes this process and the skin cannot produce adequate amounts vitamin D. Vitamin D is found naturally in fatty fish and eggs, but in most people, taking a vitamin D supplement is usually recommended. There is ongoing research as to the correct amount of vitamin D to include in a daily multivitamin. The 400 IU in most multivitamins may be considered too low, with recent studies and statements from the Institute of Medicine and the Endocrine Society suggesting taking about 1000 IU of vitamin D daily Always discuss changes in Vitamin D dosage with your healthcare provider.
How is Vitamin D related to heart disease?
There are several studies that show low levels of vitamin D are associated with a higher incidence of sudden cardiac death and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.2-3 The heart muscle, blood vessels and circulatory system are full of vitamin D receptors so it is thought that inadequate levels of vitamin D may be associated with poor heart outcomes.4 While low vitamin D levels are associated with higher risk of heart failure, sudden cardiac death, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and cardiovascular death, it is important to recognize that high levels of vitamin D can be associated with harm.5 Taking a recommended amount of vitamin D daily may help support your nutritional health.
Are all Vitamin D supplements the same?
There are two different forms of vitamin D often found in multivitamins, D3 (cholecalciferol) and D2 (ergocalciferol). Research shows that vitamin D in the form of D3 (cholecalciferol) may be more effective than D2 (ergocalciferol) when taken as an oral supplement.6
Is there a Vitamin D supplement that doctors recommend for heart health?
Cardiamin® is a doctor formulated and recommended multivitamin plus omega-3 fatty acids specially designed for supporting heart health. Cardiamin incorporates the appropriate amounts of selective multivitamins and 1000 IU of vitamin D3 plus 1000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, based on a review of the most recent clinical guidelines. Cardiamin supplements have ”Everything you need, Nothing you don’t” for supporting heart health.
- Holick MF. Vitamin D deficiency. N Engl J Med. 2007; 357:266-81.
- Pilz S, Marz W, Wellnitz B, et al. Association of vitamin D deficiency with heart failure and sudden cardiac death in a large cross-sectional study of patients referred for coronary angiography. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008; 93:3927-35.
- Wang TJ, Pencina MJ, Booth SL, et al. Vitamin D deficiency and risk of cardiovascular disease. Circulation. 2008; 117:503-11.
- Pilz S, Tomaschitz A, Marz W, et al. Vitamin D, cardiovascular disease and mortality. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2011 Nov;75(5):575-84.
- Sanders KM, Stuart AL, Williamson EJ; et al. Annual high-dose oral vitamin D and falls and fractures in older women: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2010;303:1815-1822.
- Houghton, LA. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Oct; 84(4):694-7