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High-dose vitamin D improves ejection fraction in heart failure patients, says new trial

Posted on: May 19, 2014   by  Jeff Nicklas

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A new randomized controlled trial published in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases has found that in those with heart failure, ejection fraction is improved by high-dose vitamin D supplementation.

Ejection fraction (EF) is a measurement of how much blood the heart pumps out with each beat. EF is usually measured as a percentage. With each heartbeat, the heart first contracts and the two pumping chambers, also called ventricles, pump out blood. The heart then relaxes and the ventricles fill with blood, again.

In otherwise healthy humans, the heart pumps out approximately half of the blood contained within it with each beat. Thus, a normal EF is considered in the range of 55% to 70%.

Heart failure is characterized by the inability of the heart to pump blood effectively to all areas throughout the body. EF is, therefore, an important measurement in recognizing and diagnosing heart failure. An EF of less 40% is considered evidence of heart failure.

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4 Responses to High-dose vitamin D improves ejection fraction in heart failure patients, says new trial

  1. Rita and Misty

    This is an extremely well-crafted article, Jeff. Thank you.

    Taken from your above writing:
    “In the vitamin D group, average vitamin D levels improve significantly from 16.2 ng/ml at baseline to 31.7 ng/ml after 25 weeks (p < 0.001)."

    My thoughts:
    I wonder what the results would have been if natural 25(OH)D levels had been achieved? And by natural, I would look to current hunter/gatherer societies for a reference of 46 ng/ml to 104 ng/ml.

    Yes, the study size was quite small.

    I long for the day that a large study, of let us say 1,000 participants, looks to results possible when a natural 25(OH)D level is obtained.

    Jeff, once again, thank you for such a well-written post.

  2. hlahore@gmail.com

    This RCT was the 34th proof in VitaminDWiki that Vitamin D does work.
    There currently are 46 proofs
    http://vitamindwiki.com/tiki-index.php?page_id=1336

  3. Ron Carmichael

    Have to be curious about the D-effects in the peripheral vasculature (where a decrease in resistance in turn leads to an increased ejection fraction), relative to the effects of increased musculature performance in the heart muscle (stronger contractions leading to increased ejection fraction). Either, Both, or only one? Or is there other possibilities contributing – more flexible RBCs, more endothelial pliability, less agglutination? Maybe all of these….but lacking a mother-nature model in the control design, eh, who knows?

  4. Chen Kien Nam

    Would have been great if this study had been done with 5000 U of D3 daily and still on going so that you don’t need to conduct another study and people can easily replicate it.

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