A new study shows why this vitamin is even more beneficial than we thought.
A new cell study shows that vitamin D restores a healthy balance between two compounds necessary for heart health.
Nitric oxide is vital for maintaining youthful elasticity in blood vessels. But nitric oxide works in conjunction with a destructive compound called peroxynitrite.
You want more nitric oxide, while minimizing peroxynitrite.
Too much peroxynitrite can lead to the hardening of the arteries, known as arterial stiffness (atherosclerosis), which is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke.
Peroxynitrite is a destructive free radical which can reduce elasticity in the artery, thus damaging the cardiovascular system.
Oxidative stress is just one of several suspected causes of arterial stiffness. Other suspected causes include stress, inflammation, age, and sugar.
Hardening of the arteries is like a clogged pipe, dangerously increasing a buildup of pressure.
The hardened arteritis are much more vulnerable to rupture, which increases stroke risk, especially when blood pressure is elevated. Once the system is damaged, it’s only a matter of time before major problems occur.
Healthy blood flow is vital to get nutrients and oxygen carried throughout your body and for sending waste products out.
Hardened arteries do not cause symptoms until blood flow to a certain area of the body is slowed or blocked.
If the arteries supplying blood to the heart become narrow, this will cause chest pain (stable angina), shortness of breath, and other symptoms.
Narrowed or blocked arteries may also cause problems in the intestines, kidneys, legs, and brain.
The new study done by researchers at Nanomedical Research Laboratory at Ohio University was conducted to understand the connection between vitamin D and proper arterial function.
The arterial cells were treated with a human hormone that created distressed cells. As expected, the cells started producing a higher amount of peroxynitrite, altering the ratio of nitric oxide to peroxynitrite.
When researchers began adding vitamin D in tiny amounts, remarkable changes began happening.
With the presence of vitamin D3, nitric oxide levels rose.
Nearly a ten time increase flooded into the cells.
The study suggests that vitamin D supplementation restores normal function in the endothelium, a thin membrane that lines the inside of the heart and blood vessels.
Endothelial cells release substances that control vascular relaxation and contraction, as well as enzymes that control blood clotting, immune function, and platelet (a colorless substance in the blood) adhesion.
The improvement in this system can have remarkable health benefits besides preventing heart attack and stroke.
People with chronic kidney disease along with a vitamin D deficiency should talk to their doctor about supplementing because it may allow any damaged arteries to relax and work more effectively.
Obese patients have been found to benefit from vitamin D supplementation to help reduce the damage done by high blood pressure.
This latest study gives hope that even after damage has occurred, supplementing with vitamin D may give some patients more elastic and youthful arteries.