Since most dermatologists and other doctors recommend avoiding the sun and using sunscreen before venturing outdoors, vitamin D deficiency has reached truly epidemic proportions around the world, as previously mentioned. Considering the importance of vitamin D for disease prevention, strict sun avoidance is likely doing far more harm than good. Here Dinesh C. Sharma, TheHinduBusinessLine.com, reflects on study showing how vitamin D deficiency can cause heart failure:
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“A daily dose of sunshine, which stimulates production of Vitamin D in the body, is vital not just for the well-being of your bones but may also be good for your heart.
The problem of vitamin D deficiency affecting bone health is well known for decades. For some years, scientists have also seen vitamin D deficiency as a factor that determines health of your heart. Now Indian researchers have deciphered how exactly vitamin D deficiency can cause heart failure.
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The new study has shown that vitamin D deficiency alone can lead to heart failure, possibly through insulin resistance. It has found that cardiac insulin leads to functional deterioration of heart in animals with low vitamin D levels. The utilization of glucose and fatty acids – key fuels for energy generation in heart – is adversely affected due to insulin resistance in heart cells.
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Insulin plays a critical role in regulation of cellular metabolism in many tissues in the body.
To study if vitamin D deficiency could cause cardiac damage similar to other risk factors like consumption of high fats and high calorie food, researchers designed an experiment with rats.
They manipulated diets of animals and divided them into three groups – one with adequate vitamin D, second set had vitamin D deficiency, while the third group was fed with high fat and high fructose diet.
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At the end of 20 weeks, it was found that the hearts of vitamin D deficient animals were failing. They showed molecular and functional changes similar to the hearts of rats in high fat high fructose diet group. “The cardiac dysfunction caused by vitamin D deficiency alone was very similar to that by the other risk factor – high calorie diet – sometimes even to a greater extent insome parameters. For example, cardiac inflammation was higher in vitamin D deficiency diet than high calorie diet,” researchers have observed in the study.
Researchers found greater expression of genes involved in enlargement of cardiac muscles. These findings were confirmed when scientists measured heart wall thicknesses, chamber internal diameters and contracting capacity of heart.”
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Read More … Article Source: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/science/indian-scientists-study-show-how-vitamin-d-deficiency-can-cause-heart-failure/article27262318.ece
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