Study: Vitamin D improves heart function

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – If you have a daily dose of vitamin D3, researchers say it may improve heart function in heart failure patients.

The new British study was presented Monday at the annual meting of the American College of Cardiology in Chicago.

Researchers said more than 160 patients had pacemakers and received blood pressure drugs known as ACE inhibitors or beta blocks.

“These findings could make a significant difference to the care of heart failure patients,” said study leader Dr. Klaus Witte, from the University of Leeds School of Medicine. “It is the first evidence that vitamin D3 can improve heart function of people with heart muscle weakness, known as heart failure.”

Researchers said for one year, participants took either vitamin D or inactive placebo pills once a day. They said they didn’t use a calcium-based vitamin D supplement, because calcium can cause other problems for heart failure patients.

The study said patients who took vitamin D improved their heart pumping function from 26 percent to 34 percent, whereas patients who took the placebo pills had no change in their heart pumping function.

Researchers said about 23 million people worldwide are affected by heart failure.

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