How vitamin D prevents heart attacks

October 20, 2012
Volume 2    |   Issue 82
Did you know that a vitamin D deficiency can increase your risk of having a heart attack by 200%? This was the discovery of a Harvard study back in 2008. On Monday, I showed you another study that said optimal vitamin D levels lower your risk of dying from a heart attack by 80%.

For a number of years, researchers have known that vitamin D does prevent heart attacks. The problem researchers have had, though, is figuring out why. After all, it’s blood clots, not nutrient deficiencies that cause heart attacks, right?

Well, a landmark study out of London showed that the cause of blood clots – at least one cause – is, in fact, a vitamin deficiency. To be more specific, a vitamin D deficiency.

How is this possible? Elina Hypponen, MD, the lead researcher in the London study, found the answer. She wanted to know why vitamin D reduces your risk of dying from a heart attack. She started with the knowledge that we’ve already discussed and also that your cardiovascular system has vitamin D receptors throughout. Your heart, your arteries, and your veins all have receptors for this powerful nutrient.

Then Dr. Hypponen looked at five common biochemical markers that increase your risk of heart disease. These included C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen, D-dimer, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) antigen, and von Willebrand factor (vWF). These markers all measure either inflammation or the stickiness of your blood. Both of these contribute to heart disease and lead to heart attacks.

Dr. Hypponen wanted to know the relationship of these markers with vitamin D. To figure this out, she looked at 6,500 middle-aged people from a 1958 British birth group (a study similar to our Nurses’ Health Study that follows a large number of people for a long period of time). She looked at their blood-level measurements for all five markers. Then she compared them to their vitamin D levels.

She found that vitamin D levels directly affect three of the five markers. The three markers vitamin D affects are tPA, fibrinogen, and D-dimer. All three of these are related to your blood’s stickiness. That means vitamin D works directly on your blood’s stickiness to prevent blood clots that clog your arteries and lead to heart attacks.

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Imagine taking an inexpensive vitamin and significantly decreasing your risk of suffering blocked arteries and a heart attack. In fact, it may help eliminate your risk altogether. But your blood levels of vitamin D have to be above 50 ng/mL and stay above this level year-round. To do this, most people have to take 5,000 IU daily. You can order a product that has 5,000 IU tablets by following this link.

Your Insider for better health,

Steve Kroening

Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20520739

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18541825

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