In recent years, the warnings of the harmful effects of sun on our skin. The danger posed by the sun’s rays should not be underestimated, as it is ultimately responsible for the development of skin cancer. This is also the reason why more and more people avoid sunlight – with far-reaching consequences for their heart health, among other things.
Vitamin D – the sun hormone
The vitamin D was in many scientific studies a great similarity to various steroid hormones certified, so it was henceforth referred to as hormone. Since then, vitamin D has been known as the sun hormone. The explanation for this name lies in the fact that vitamin D is formed by the body itself, and only in conjunction with the sunlight.
As a messenger, it then reaches the bones, the muscles, the brain, the immune system, the pancreas and many other body organs via the blood in order to fulfill its specific tasks. But how does the body react to vitamin D deficiency?
We examine this question using the example of the cardiovascular system.
How sunlight creates vitamin D
In the liver, the precursor of vitamin D is formed. When the sun’s rays shine on the skin, vitamin D becomes the first precursor of vitamin D3. The skin itself then forms another precursor of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Now the vitamin D3 has to be transported from the skin back to the liver, where it is processed further.
The resulting vitamin is now called calcidiol and is the basis for the vitamin D metabolism dar. About the blood, the calcidiol then finally enters the body cells in which the active form of vitamin D3 – the calcitriol – arises.
Please note: In the form of calcidiol, vitamin D3 is offered as a nutritional supplement. Calcitriol is available exclusively as a prescription drug.
Vitamin D3 capsules
Supplementation in case of sun deficiency. For decades, the important influence of vitamin D on bone health has been emphasized. For a sufficient intake, a daily dose of 600 IU / was recommended, while at the same time a vitamin D blood value of 20 ng / ml was considered normal.
Today, however, many experts believe that this value should be at least 50 ng / ml, so that the vitamin D can develop its optimal effect. In view of this new knowledge, an amount of 4000 to 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 is now considered as supplementation (dietary supplement) for a recommended dosage, as long as one does not spend enough time in the sun.
However, the amount of vitamin D actually needed can always be viewed individually, as it depends on various factors. On the one hand, the starting point, ie the quantity produced by the body itself, has to be considered.
In addition, the amount absorbed by the intestine also varies greatly with the dose delivered. It depends a lot on the intestinal health. In addition, the weight of humans also plays an important role. Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, it often disappears into the fat deposits, especially in overweight individuals.
Vitamin D3 and Vitamin K2
It is impossible to take an overdose of vitamin D due to sun exposure to the skin. The situation is different with the supplementation with vitamin D3. Here is an overdose, which could then cause heart problems, not completely excluded.
To optimally benefit from the effects of vitamin D supplementation, vitamin D3 should be taken together with vitamin K2 (as MK-7). Both vitamins have a synergistic effect that dissolves calcium deposits inside the arteries and heart valves and transports them to where the calcium really belongs – to the bones.
Inflammation can cause cardiovascular disease
Vitamin D has so many positive benefits on the cardiovascular system. This finding is particularly important, as every second person dies from the consequences of a disease of this system. Especially people with a high blood pressure suffer a heart attack up to three times more frequently than people with normal blood pressure values.
Some cardiology specialists now want to make history about the widespread misconception that cholesterol is the cause of cardiovascular disease. They are convinced that it is not cholesterol but arterial inflammation that is the cause of all cardiovascular problems and heart disease.
The causes of arterial inflammation
Much of these inflammatory reactions are due to a wrong diet. For the rest, cardiologists blame vitamin D deficiency. This thesis was confirmed among other things in the context of an eight-year study (Ludwigshafener risk study) to 3000 participants. The study found that vitamin D deficiency significantly increases the risk of dying from heart disease. This relationship has also been confirmed by American studies.
The explanation for the effectiveness of vitamin D in terms of cardiovascular disease is based on the fact that vitamin D can protect against inflammation of any kind.
In light of this, it is not surprising that many recent studies have confirmed the link between vitamin D deficiency and the ever-increasing death toll of people with heart disease.
The Brazilian study on vitamin D
These studies were conducted in hospitals specializing in the treatment of patients with coronary heart disease. One of these studies was conducted in Brazil and published in 2012.
In the 206 patients who participated in this study, initially the vitamin D level in the blood was measured. Thereafter, the participants were divided into two groups. One patient group had a vitamin D level of 10 ng / ml or below and was therefore considered to be deficient. The other group had a vitamin D level of 20 +/- 8 ng / ml, which was considered normal. After all, these were patients who already suffered from coronary heart disease.
Of the study participants who had severe vitamin D deficiency, a significantly higher percentage died during treatment at the hospital than from those patients whose vitamin D blood levels were normal for their condition.
The scientists came to the following conclusion:
Severe vitamin D deficiency has a significant effect on the mortality rate of patients with acute coronary syndrome (circulatory disorder in the coronary arteries).
In other words, the likelihood of you dying after a heart attack in the hospital is significantly greater if you only have an insufficient amount of vitamin D in your blood.
The Danish study on vitamin D
In September 2012, a Danish study was conducted at the University of Copenhagen in collaboration with the Copenhagen University Hospital. This study involved more than 10,000 Danes whose vitamin D levels were measured between 1981 and 1983. Over the years, the values were checked regularly.
The leader of this study, dr. Peter Brøndum-Jacobsen, announced the following result:
We have seen that low vitamin D blood levels significantly increase the risk of developing heart disease or worsening existing conditions compared to optimal vitamin D levels. Our results showed that the risk of developing ischemic heart disease increased by 40%. This condition describes a constriction of the coronary arteries, which leads to strong circulatory disorders of the heart muscle, causes pain in the chest area and finally can cause a life-threatening heart attack. The risk of having a heart attack increases by 64%. The risk of premature death is increased by 57%, and the risk of dying from heart disease generally increases by as much as 81%.
The American study of vitamin D
Another study was conducted at the Heart Institute at Intermountain Medical Center, Salt Lake City, Utah. Almost 28,000 patients over the age of 50, who had no heart disease by that time, participated in this study. For all participants, the vitamin D value in the blood was first determined. Subsequently, they were divided into three groups based on the measurement results (very low value, low value, normal value). The normal guideline value for this study was 30 ng / ml.
The study found that those patients who had a very low vitamin D level were twice as likely to succumb to heart failure than those who had normal vitamin D levels in the body. In addition, study participants in the group with the lowest vitamin D levels were 78% more susceptible to strokes and 45% more susceptible to coronary heart disease.
Overall, it has been found that very low vitamin D levels are twice as likely to cause cardiac failure than is the case in normal people.
The best vitamin D supplier is the sun
All the research results about the vitamin D clearly show that our body relies on this vitamin so that diseases that are also due to a vitamin D deficiency, not even arise. Use this information for the sake of your health. Expose yourself to natural UV radiation as often as possible. Bring sun to your skin whenever possible, but remember the following recommendations:
- Do not expose yourself to the blazing sun, because the sun’s rays can also be reached in sheltered places.
- Depending on the skin type, the sun should not last longer than 5 to a maximum of 40 minutes.
- Avoid the midday sun, as the dangerous UVA radiation is highest during this time.
- Do not use sunscreen for short stays in the sun, as sunscreen with sun protection factor 15 will almost completely block vitamin D production.
If you also check your diet and optimize it, it should soon improve your heart 🙂
How to check your vitamin D level with a home test, how to evaluate the result and how you can determine the right vitamin D dosage for you, read here: Vitamin D – The right intake.