Sunshine Works for Congestive Heart Failure
April 25, 2006
A clinical trial indicates that a high dose of vitamin D could help people with congestive heart failure.
The cause of congestive heart failure (CHF) is not well understood, but recent theories point to increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha).
A Jump in Anti-Inflammatories
For the trial, scientists monitored the effects of a 2,000-IU dose of vitamin D supplement versus a placebo per day on 123 CHF patients. Nine months later, vitamin D patients enjoyed a 43 percent increase in their interleukin-10 levels (a natural anti-inflammatory produced by the body) and no jump in tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) levels.
No Benefit From Placebo
On the other hand, TNF-alpha levels in patients not given vitamin D rose 12 percent. What's more, their interleukin-10 levels were unchanged and the amount of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (the non-active storage form of vitamin D in one's body) dropped.
The trial's results seem to be in line with earlier studies linking heart disease and vitamin D deficiency.