A five-year study from the University of Leeds in UK shows that a daily dose of Vitamin D3 helps prevent heart failure and improve heart function.
According to a press release issued by the university on Monday, patients who have chronic heart failure benefit the most from regular intake of vitamin D3. University of Leeds professor Dr. Klaus Witte headed the study, which was named VINDICATE.
“This is a significant breakthrough for patients. It is the first evidence that vitamin D3 can improve heart function of people with heart muscle weakness – known as heart failure. These findings could make a significant difference to the care of heart failure patients,” Witte said.
The main source of Vitamin D3 is exposure to sunlight during early morning. However, the report showed that patients with heart ailments often get a lesser amount of sunlight because of their condition. Even during summer, when sunlight is at its peak, patients with various cardiovascular conditions get lesser amounts of Vitamin D3. It can also be sourced from food supplements.
To establish whether Vitamin D3 indeed has a positive effect on heart function, 160 participants were asked to either take Vitamin D3 supplement and a placebo treatment for a year. After the treatment period, those who took the Vitamin D3 supplements reported an improved heart function than those who were on placebo.
The researchers then assessed the participants’ ejection fraction, which measures how much blood the heart pumps in each beat, using the echocardiogram. The results of the echocardiogram readings were the basis of the researchers in making a conclusion that the Vitamin D3 treatment has been effective.
Participants who received the Vitamin D3 treatment recorded an average ejection fraction of 34% from an average of 26%, while those who were under placebo treatment did not record any changes in their ejection fraction. The normal ejection fraction of a healthy individual is between 60% and 70%.
The study was funded by the Medical Research Council.