Vitamin D and omega-3s boost circulatory health

Vitamin D reduces artery stiffness

Stiff arteries contribute to circulatory problems, and recent research shows a link to low levels of vitamin D. In this study, 70 overweight African-Americans, aged 13 to 45, with deficient vitamin D levels at or below 20 nanograms per milliliter of blood (ng/mL), took 600 IU, 2,000 IU, or 4,000 IU of vitamin D per day, or a placebo.

After 16 weeks, the placebo group saw a 2 percent increase in artery stiffness, and those taking 600 IU of vitamin D had a 0.1 percent increase. The 2,000 IU group saw artery stiffness decrease by 2 percent and, in what doctors said was a rapid improvement, the 4,000 IU vitamin D group had a 10.4 percent decrease in artery stiffness. Vitamin D levels improved to sufficient levels in both the 2,000 IU and 4,000 IU vitamin D groups, to 30 and 35.7 ng/mL, respectively.

Omega-3s lower heart rate

New evidence suggests how fast the heart beats while at rest is a key factor in circulatory and all other causes of death. In this review of 51 placebo-controlled omega-3 studies covering 3,000 participants, compared to placebo, those who took an omega-3 supplement had a small—but significant—average reduction in heart rate of 2.23 beats per minute.

Individually, there was no separate benefit for EPA, but DHA provided a significant benefit: an average of 2.47 fewer resting heartbeats per minute. Doctors said this is important because most participants had normal resting heart rates, and calculate that 3.2 fewer beats-per-minute would lower chances for a sudden fatal heart event by 7.5 percent.

Reference: PLoS One—Journals; December, 2017,
0188424, Published Online
Natural Insights for Well Being April 2018

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