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Heart failure following heart attack: Can vitamin D help?

Posted on: March 22, 2013   by  John Cannell, MD


Myocardial infarction (MI) is the most common form of acute cardiac injury and a leading cause of death in the Western world. Advances in treatment have led to a decline in mortality during the acute phase. On the other hand, there has been an increase in heart failure in patients surviving an MI due to significant heart damage.

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3 Responses to Heart failure following heart attack: Can vitamin D help?

  1. Rita and Misty

    Vitamin D deficiency, anyone???


    “We observed increasing risk of ischemic heart disease, myocardial infarction, and early death with decreasing plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels. These findings were substantiated in meta-analyses.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22936341

    I’ve said it before and I say again and again (BTW, I think I’m getting hoarse..maybe a megaphone would help):

    Because of our indoor lifestyles, Vitamin D deficiency is at epidemic proportions in the United States…actually worldwide. And it is worse among those with darker skin pigmentation, as melanin factors greatly into Vitamin D production.

    The sunlight needs for people with darker skin pigmentation, living at higher latitudes, are immense and are not being met. A lighter pigmented person standing in full sun can produce a day’s bodily requirement of Vitamin D in about 15 minutes. In stark contrast, a person with darker skin pigmentation, standing in the same spot, will need approximately 6 times more sun exposure to produce the same amount of vitamin D. The following link will provide you with a thorough explanation:

    Furthermore, current research indicates that Vitamin D improves the antibacterial, antiviral and anti-parasitic functioning of the immune system, and people with low vitamin D levels in their blood are more likely to die from cancer, heart disease, stroke and many other diseases. According to reports by the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention, African American suffer greatly from chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, fibromyalgia, lupus, and obesity which can be effectively controlled or prevented with vitamin D supplementation.

  2. [email protected]

    I’ve seen mentioned, I think here, that there are “at least 20 other compounds besides D3” generated by solar UVb. Anyone know what these compounds do in the body? What they are and what compounds they are derived from?

  3. Rita and Misty


    D3 supplementation is good, but sunlight, yes, does confer additional benefits. Two additional benefits of sunlight versus supplementation would be helping your body produce adequate amounts of Serotonin & Melatonin!

    Need more convincing to go get some rays:

    “The sun may be best known for boosting production of vitamin D, but there are many other UVR-mediated effects independent of this pathway.

    Direct immune suppression: Exposure to both UVA and UVB radiation can have direct immunosuppressive effects through upregulation of cytokines (TNF-α and IL-10) and increased activity of T regulatory cells that remove self-reactive T cells. These mechanisms may help prevent autoimmune diseases.

    Alpha melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH): Upon exposure to sunshine, melanocytes and keratinocytes in the skin release α-MSH, which has been implicated in immunologic tolerance and suppression of contact hypersensitivity. α-MSH also helps limit oxidative DNA damage resulting from UVR and increases gene repair, thus reducing melanoma risk, as reported 15 May 2005 in Cancer Research.

    Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP): Released in response to both UVA and UVB exposure, this potent neuropeptide modulates a number of cytokines and is linked with impaired induction of immunity and the development of immunologic tolerance. According to a report in the September 2007 issue of Photochemistry and Photobiology, mast cells (which mediate hypersensitivity reactions) play a critical role in CGRP-mediated immune suppression. This could help explain sunlight’s efficacy in treating skin disorders such as psoriasis.

    Neuropeptide substance P: Along with CGRP, this neuropeptide is released from sensory nerve fibers in the skin following UVR exposure. This results in increased lymphocyte proliferation and chemotaxis (chemically mediated movement) but may also produce local immune suppression.

    Endorphins: UVR increases blood levels of natural opiates called endorphins. Melanocytes in human skin express a fully functioning endorphin receptor system, according to the June 2003 Journal of Investigative Dermatology, and a study published 24 November 2005 in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology suggests that the cutaneous pigmentary system is an important stress-response element of the skin.”

    Check out one of my favorite articles on this subject.



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