Last updated on 16th Oct 2021 - By Dwayne Michaels

How Abnormal VITAMIN D affects heart?

A growing number of studies point to vitamin D deficiency as a risk factor for heart attacks, congestive heart failure, peripheral arterial disease (PAD), strokes, and the conditions associated with cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

Blood test

An estimated one billion people worldwide are either vitamin D insufficient or deficient. Vitamin D deficiency is widespread in the European population.

A diet with insufficient vitamin D in conjunction with inadequate sun exposure causes vitamin D deficiency. Severe vitamin D deficiency in children causes rickets, a softening and weakening of bones, which is a rare disease in the developed world.

Vitamin D deficiency is found worldwide in the elderly and remains common in children and adults. Deficiency results in impaired bone mineralization and bone damage which leads to bone-softening diseases, including rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.

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Low blood calcifediol (25-hydroxy-vitamin D) can result from avoiding the sun. Being deficient in vitamin D can cause intestinal absorption of dietary calcium to fall to 15%. When not deficient, an individual usually absorbs between 60 and 80%.

Low levels of vitamin D are associated with two major forms of human inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

A meta-analysis of vitamin D therapy in IBD patients with vitamin D deficiency has shown that supplementation is effective at correcting vitamin D levels and is associated with improvements in scores for clinical disease activity and biochemical markers.

Although vitamin D is present naturally in only a few foods, it is commonly added as a fortification in manufactured foods. In some countries, staple foods are artificially fortified with vitamin D.

Did you know? Not getting enough sleep is linked to Heart attack, Depression, High Blood Pressure, Obesity and Diabetes.

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Manufactured foods fortified with vitamin D include some fruit juices and fruit juice drinks, meal replacement energy bars, soy protein-based beverages, certain cheese and cheese products, flour products, infant formulas, many breakfast cereals, and milk.

Vitamin D content in typical foods is reduced variably by cooking. Boiled, fried and baked foods retained 69–89% of original vitamin D.

The UK National Health Service (NHS) recommends that people at risk of vitamin D deficiency, formula-fed babies taking less than 500ml/day, and children aged 6 months to 4 years, should take daily vitamin D supplements throughout the year to ensure sufficient intake.

This includes people with limited skin synthesis of vitamin D, who are not often outdoors, are frail, housebound, living in a care home, or usually wearing clothes that cover up most of the skin, or with dark skin, such as having an African, African-Caribbean or south Asian background.

Other people may be able to make adequate vitamin D from sunlight exposure from April to September.

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But excess vitamin D can also affect your heart. You should not take too much vitamin D without consulting your doctor. Vitamin D overdose causes hypercalcemia, which is a strong indication of vitamin D toxicity – this can be noted with an increase in urination and thirst.

If hypercalcemia is not treated, it results in excess deposits of calcium in soft tissues and organs such as the kidneys, liver, and heart, resulting in pain and organ damage.

Vitamin D toxicity is treated by discontinuing vitamin D supplementation and restricting calcium intake. Kidney damage may be irreversible. Exposure to sunlight for extended periods of time does not normally cause vitamin D toxicity.

The concentrations of vitamin D precursors produced in the skin reach an equilibrium, and any further vitamin D produced is degraded.

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