News / Health

Vitamin D May Protect Against Heart Attack

'Sunshine vitamin' affects more than just bone strength

Cardiologist J. Brent Muhlestein believes patients who take Vitamin D supplements will lower their risk of cardiovascular disease.
Cardiologist J. Brent Muhlestein believes patients who take Vitamin D supplements will lower their risk of cardiovascular disease.

Multimedia

Audio
Philip Graitcer

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that we get through exposure to sunlight and through diet. Without enough Vitamin D, we are at risk for rickets, osteoporosis and bone fractures.

Now, researchers have found that Vitamin D deficiency is also associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

J. Brent Muhlestein, a cardiologist at the Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, looked at Vitamin D levels in 41,000 patients who visited the medical center for various health problems. He found that about two-thirds of them had low levels of Vitamin D.

Click to Listen:

Download/Play Audio File


"We found a significant association with future heart attacks and strokes and death in the patients who were low compared to ones who were not low in that blood test," says Muhlestein.

Over the next twelve months, one group took Vitamin D supplements to get up to normal levels. The other group did not. At the end of the year, Muhlestein tested both groups again.

A Utah doctor links Vitamin D to cardiovascular health.
A Utah doctor links Vitamin D to cardiovascular health.

A dramatic difference

"What we found is that although they all started out low, the ones who had Vitamin D that was normalized…were found to have significantly less cardiovascular events than the ones that were not normalized," says Muhlestein.

The numbers were striking. In the group of patients that took supplements to bring their Vitamin D up to normal levels, there was about a 30 percent decreased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Muhlestein says these data show that not getting enough Vitamin D affects more than just bone strength. "Now we have data that says that it's also associated with significant cardiovascular risk and that it appears that if you treat it you can significantly reduce your cardiovascular risk as well."

Although Muhlestein says a large scale randomized clinical trial is needed to confirm his results, he thinks physicians should start recommending Vitamin D supplements to patients with low levels of the vitamin. He expects that would lower their risk of cardiovascular disease.

He presented his findings at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology in Atlanta.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More