Vitamin D deficiency is commonly seen in every Indian, occurring in about 30-50% of the population, observed across all ethnicities and among all age groups. Besides the established role of vitamin D in calcium homeostasis, its deficiency is emerging as a new risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). In particular, several clinical studies have reported a close association between low vitamin D levels and major CVDs, such as coronary artery disease, heart failure, and atrial fibrillation. Moreover, in all these clinical settings, vitamin D deficiency seems to predispose to increased morbidity, mortality, and recurrent cardiovascular events.
Many studies show that cardiovascular problems are treated & prevented by Vitamin D. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that low vitamin D levels were associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease. For each 10 ng/ml rise in vitamin D, blood levels there is a 12% lower risk of developing hypertension. In this article lets understand the relationship between vitamin D and cardiovascular disorders, exploring the evidence, mechanisms, and potential implications for maintaining a healthy heart.
One of the key ways in which vitamin D may reduce cardiovascular risk is by helping to regulate blood pressure. Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Vitamin D has been shown to influence the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), which plays a crucial role in blood pressure regulation. When vitamin D levels are insufficient, it can lead to overactivation of RAAS, potentially contributing to hypertension. Adequate vitamin D levels can help maintain normal blood vessel function and reduce the risk of hypertension.
Chronic inflammation is a known risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, including atherosclerosis. Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce inflammation, thereby protecting against inflammation-induced cardiovascular damage. Research suggests that vitamin D may help modulate the immune response, reducing inflammation in blood vessel walls and potentially preventing the development of atherosclerosis
Studies have suggested that individuals with lower vitamin D levels may have a higher risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes. Maintaining adequate vitamin D levels through safe sun exposure, dietary sources, and supplements when necessary is important for overall health, including cardiovascular health. However, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized recommendations on vitamin D intake, especially for individuals with specific cardiovascular risk factors or conditions.
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