Are you suffering from heart disease? A treatment with Vitamin D3 might help restore damage to your cardiovascular system, finds a study. Vitamin D3 is produced naturally when skin is exposed to the sun or through over-the-counter pills.
Several diseases, including high blood pressure, build-up of fats, cholesterol in and on the artery walls, and diabetes, can cause damage to the cardiovascular system thus increasing the risk of heart attack.
However, taking Vitamin D3 -- associated with the bones -- at doses higher than those currently used for the treatment of bone diseases may be highly beneficial for the treatment of the dysfunctional cardiovascular system, the study showed.
"Generally, Vitamin D3 is associated with the bones. However, in recent years, in clinical settings, people recognise that many patients who have a heart attack will have a deficiency of D3. It doesn't mean that the deficiency caused the heart attack, but it increased the risk of heart attack," said Tadeusz Malinski, a graduate student at Ohio University.
The team, in a paper published in the International Journal of Nanomedicine, used nanosensors, which are about 1,000 times smaller in diameter than a human hair, to track the impact of Vitamin D3 on single endothelial cells -- a vital regulatory component of the cardiovascular system.
The dysfunction of endothelium is a common denominator of several cardiovascular diseases, particularly those associated with ischemic events, the researchers said.
"There are not many, if any, known systems which can be used to restore cardiovascular endothelial cells which are already damaged, and Vitamin D3 can do it," Malinski said.
"This is a very inexpensive solution to repair the cardiovascular system. We don't have to develop a new drug. We already have it."
Vitamin D3 may also be of clinical importance in the restoration of dysfunctional cardiac endothelium after heart attack, capillary endothelium after brain ischemia (stroke), hypovolemia, vasculopathy, diabetes and atherosclerosis.