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Low Vitamin D Could Raise Death Risk
Date:6/23/2008

p> "Apart from the proved effects that vitamin D has on bone metabolism and neuromuscular function, appropriate serum levels are associated with a decrease in mortality," the researchers wrote.

"Although not proved, it seems possible that at least part of this effect may be due to lowering of a risk profile promoting atherosclerosis and preventing cardiovascular end points," they concluded.

Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, noted that similar observations with low vitamin E and beta carotene levels and cardiovascular mortality were not confirmed when vitamin supplementation was tested in clinical trials.

"Prospective randomized clinical trials of vitamin D supplementation demonstrating a reduction in cardiovascular mortality are absolutely needed before any treatment recommendations can be made," Fonarow said. "The few clinical trials of vitamin D supplementation conducted to date have been quite disappointing."

Vitamin D also appears to play a role in preventing heart failure, another study finds.

In a study, published online in Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, University of Michigan pharmacologist Simpson showed that vitamin D could prevent heart failure from developing in rats.

After 13 weeks, Simpson's team found that rats prone to heart failure that received vitamin D supplements had significantly lower signs of heart failure compared with similar rats not given the nutrient.

The hearts of the treated rats weighed less and worked less well during each beat. However, blood pressure was maintained indicating that there was no reduction in heart function, according to the report.

More information

For on vitamin D, visit MedlinePlus.



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