Give Vitamin D for Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2012 Leave your thoughts

Valentine’s Day is Heart Day.  But did you know that Vitamin D is good for your heart?  I didn’t until my cardiologist gave me a “state of the art” paper from the American College of Cardiology.

Vitamin D Deficiency can double your risk of heart attack and your risk of death from heart diseases.  And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Individuals with low blood levels of 25-hydroxy Vitamin D also have increased risk of stroke, high blood pressure, heart failure, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries or calcium in the arteries), diabetic heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.   These increased risks are 50% to 80% due to low Vitamin D alone.  Add smoking or steroid inhalers and the risk is several times as great.

Vitamin D deficiency acts through the kidney to increase blood pressure, heart muscle enlargement (ventricular hypertrophy), artery wall stiffness, and decrease heart muscle flexibility.

Chronic Vitamin D deficiency causes Secondary Hyperparathyroidism.  This steals calcium from the bones and puts it in the heart valves, arteries, and heart muscle.  Persons with Secondary Hyperparathryroidism are twice as likely to have heart attacks, cardiovascular disease, and death from all causes.

Check on your heart health.  Get blood tests for PTH and for 25-hydroxy Vitamin D.

Jay Ginther, MD

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