Vitamin D is Strongly Associated with Reduction in Heart Disease Risk

March 26, 2011

Vitamin D is Strongly Associated with Reduction in Heart Disease Risk 

 March 26, 2009 Reference:  American Heart Association Meetings  March 15, 2010 Am Jr Med Sci.  Amer Jr Cardiology,

 The Newsletter is back.  I have had some issues at work as to whether I owned my own intellectual property.  I do.  And I may continue to email my friends.  Here we go again!  Let me know if you want to be off this list.  Otherwise,  almost every week…… I have to start with Vitamin D.  

The momentum is growing. If you haven’t started taking D yet, this week should push you over the edge.  The large, widely publicized and authoritative medical journals are starting to carry stories about Vitamin D that demonstrate its utility. Evidence is growing about how D works at the cellular level.  Each and every cell needs it to turn on the genes that make that particular cell into a mature cell.  Heart disease is really a disease of the “endothelium” or lining of blood vessels.  We know that the endothelium is an incredibly biologically active interface between the blood and the muscle lining of the arteries.  

Vit D cools off the portfolio of genes that boost up inflammation.  And inflammation is the core dysfunction that sets off the cascade of damage.  The current state of the art theory argues that metabolic syndrome results from that inflammation, and from metabolic syndrome comes hypertension and diabetes.  When we treat hypertension and diabetes, we are jumping on the haywagon when the horse is already out of the barn.  It’s inflammation we need to be treating.  So, Vitamin D is one of the foundational strategies for preventing heart disease at its source, the inflamed and dysfunctional artery lining where plaque is growing and arteries are narrowing.  

So, what’s the newest research? From Utah, Dr. Brent Muhlestein, (Intermountain Medical Center) followed 31,000 patients over one year and found those with the lowest vitamin D levels had a 170-per-cent greater risk of heart attacks than those with the highest levels. Those with the lowest vitamin D levels also had an 80-per-cent greater risk of death, a 54-per-cent higher risk of diabetes, a 40-per-cent higher risk of coronary artery disease, a 72-per-cent higher risk of kidney failure and a 26-per-cent higher risk of depression.   Which of those would you like to choose?  

It gets better! Dr. Muhlestein took 9,400 patients from that group and gave them vitamin D, finding a 30% reduced risk of death in just one year.  Just one year!   If a drug company did this, the ads would be on every night on TV from 5 pm till midnight. He did not think it was ethical to withhold vitamin D in a placebo control group, in order to do a randomized controlled trial.  And that is also huge.  We have now reached the point where established researchers are stating that it is not ethical to withhold treatment from those who are deficient.  That means that letting someone remain at a low blood level is unethical. 

 So, here is the formula that I have found that will get you to a healthy blood level.  First of all, if you have not been taking any, your blood level, now at the end of winter is likely less than 20 ng and possibly below 10 ng.  (Mine was 9 when I started 6 years ago).  Your fat tissue soaks up D like a sink so you need a loading dose to get started.  Most folks need about 300,000 IU over a month to get a good loading dose.  That’s 10 K a day for a month.  A single 100,000 IU dose will raise your blood level 15 ng and there is medical literature to show that will raise your blood level about 15 ng in a day or two.  It is safe and not toxic to the vast majority of folks.  (A few tiny numbers of people will be extremely sensitive – apparently, folks with sarcoid are quite sensitive.)  Then, 5,000 IU a day for the rest of your life will get the majority of people to a blood level of about 60 ng .  So, you can get there in about a month.  If you just start on 5K a day, it will take you a year to get up to 60 ng.  So, do a loading dose. Where can you buy it for cheap?  Sam’s Club has 5K capsules, 400 for $ 10. 

 WWW: What will work for me.  I’m taking 10 K a day and that has my blood level around 60.  I don’t need to measure it anymore.  If I miss a day, I double up the day after.  You can take it once a week if you want.  And yes, I give it to my dog too.  We are all more cheerful!

Column written by Dr. John Whitcomb, Brookfield Longevity, Brookfield, WI