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The Ever More Interesting Role of Vitamin D (D-3)

The more we know, the less we seem to know. First identified as a ‘vitamin,’ Vitamin D3 is actually a hormone. The difference is actually quite important to understanding why Vitamin D-3 is getting so much recent attention.

Initially, Vitamin D-3 was thought to be exclusively involved in bone metabolism. It has since been identified to be important in multiple systems, including the cardiovascular and immune systems.

Recently, a number of studies have demonstrated beneficial effects on the heart. There is accumulating evidence that Vitamin D-3 exerts important physiological effects on the heart muscle cells, vascular smooth muscle cells, and the vascular lining. Low levels of 25-hydoxyvitamin D are associated with heart attack, congestive heart failure, and calcific aortic stenosis. In patients with end-stage renal disease and end-stage heart failure, very low-circulating Vitamin D levels are associated with high mortality rates.

More interestingly, there seems to be a strong correlation between low Vitamin D-3 levels and the development of hardening of the arteries. In a study of over 16,000 men, data demonstrated a strong and independent relationship of Vitamin D deficiency with prevalent cardiovascular disease.

Even more compelling is the finding that low serum Vitamin D-3 level is associated with higher risk of mortality of all causes. The lowest quartile of Vitamin D-3 level is independently associated with all-cause mortality in the general population.

Supplemental Vitamin D-3 has been demonstrated to reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancer by as much as 50%, reduces the risk of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) by as much as 40% and helps with symptoms of PMS and auto-immune disorders.