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Heart Failure, Cardiac Function, Vit. D

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Heart failure (HF) is an increasingly prevalent health problem affecting more than 15 million of patients worldwide.1… it still has a poor prognosis.2, 3 Only 35% of patients will survive within 5 years of diagnosis.2..

Heart failure is a substantial health problem the world over. Depending on the country you are talking about, heart failure is the #1 killer in the world. We all can agree the importance of heart health. What we might not agree on is how to treat heart failure. Vitamin D supplementation might be a big step forward.

I am a long-term multiple myeloma survivor who was diagnosed with heart failure- both atrial fibrillation (Afib) as well as:

  • reduced ejection fraction,
  • an aortic aneurysm, and
  • an enlarged aortic root 

back in late 2010.

My cardiologist said nothing of non-toxic therapies such as diet, exercise, or supplementation such as vitamin D. Dr. Plana went strait to prescribing a beta-blocker. I was 50 at the time. Once I began taking the beta-blocker, I had difficulty breathing,  felt awful and discontinued taking it.

Serum vitamin D levels are an issue with many different cancers and other chronic diseases. When my mom was diagnosed with pre-breast cancer (DCIS) her oncologist advisered her to supplement with vitamin D.

For the record, it’s not necessarily how much a person supplements with vitamin D. A lot also depends on where you live, how much sunshine you get, etc. This is why the benefits of vitamin D are a function of your blood levels aka serum levels.

I have been supplementing with vitamin D for years. I take 1000 mg x 2 daily. My vitamin D levels went from about 20 ng/ml to the upper 30’s- ng/ml that is.

My blood levels as a cancer survivor mirror the study linked and excerpted below.

I am now a long-term multiple myeloma survivor with chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy aka heart disease. I’m trying to research evidence-based but non-toxic therapies to manage my heart. My definition of “manage” is to live with my heart damage for, say, the next 3 or 4 decades.

According to the studies linked and excerpted below, vitamin D is such a therapy- inexpensive, non-toxic and multi-functional. Increasing your blood levels of vitamin D will reduce your risk of a host of chronic diseases include my cancer, MM, as well as improve your heart function.

The studies in “recommended reading” talk about vitamin D supplementation improving balance and bone strength.

If you would like to learn more about non-toxic heart health therapies, scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • MM Survivor
  • MM Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

BNP and NT-proBNP

“B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) and N-terminal pro b-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) are substances that are produced in the heart and released when the heart is stretched and working hard to pump blood. Tests for BNP and NT-proBNP measure their levels in the blood in order to detect and evaluate heart failure…”

Can Vitamin D Supplementation Improve the Severity of Congestive Heart Failure?

“One hundred patients with New York Heart Association (NYHA) class I through III HF were included in this prospective study and their 25‐hydroxyvitamin D levels were evaluated. Only 6% of the participants had a sufficient serum concentration of 25(OH) D >30 nmol/L.

Patients with insufficient or deficient serum levels of 25(OH) D (<30 ng/mL and <20 ng/mL, respectively) received oral vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) for a total period of 4 months. Vitamin D supplementation increased mean serum concentration of 25(OH) D from 12.63±7.60 nmol/L to 54.49±18.01 nmol/L (P<.001).

After vitamin D supplementation, the serum level of pro‐brain natriuretic peptide markedly decreased (P<.001). Cholecalciferol significantly decreased high‐sensitivity C‐reactive protein level (P<.001). Restoration of serum 25(OH) D level was also associated with substantial improvement in NYHA class (P<.001) and 6‐minute walk distance (P<.001)…

Heart failure (HF) is an increasingly prevalent health problem affecting more than 15 million of patients worldwide.1 It is a major source of morbidity and mortality in elderly populations. It can be a debilitating syndrome that leads to significant functional limitations. Despite the advances in understanding the pathophysiology and treatment, it still has a poor prognosis.2, 3 Only 35% of patients will survive within 5 years of diagnosis.2..

In some reports, a prevalence as high as 50% of the US adult population are vitamin D deficient.6, 7 Vitamin D deficiency may be of particular importance in patients with HF, as a growing body of studies has found it to be more prevalent in patients with congestive HF. Accumulating evidence suggests that vitamin D deficiency in HF is not a negligible laboratory finding and there may be an intense association between these two common clinical entities.8 It has been shown that patients with congestive HF (CHF) had 34% lower 25 (OH) D levels compared with controls.8 In some studies, emphasis has been given to the possible causative role of vitamin D in HF…

Vitamin D Supplementation

Patients with insufficient or deficient levels of 25 (OH) D were administered oral vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) for a period of 4 months. The treatment regimen included 50,000 IU every week for 8 consecutive weeks followed by 50,000 IU every month for 2 consecutive months. Afterward, all patients, including those with normal baseline 25 (OH) D, were assessed again…

Cardiac Characteristics

Nonischemic cardiomyopathy (73%) was the main cause of CHF in our study population. At the time of clinical evaluation, the percentages of NYHA class I, II, and III were 3%, 45%, and 52%, respectively


The results of our study indicate that an appropriate strategy of vitamin D supplementation decreases the severity of HF, reflected in the reduction of serum proBNP. We also demonstrated that vitamin D causes a pronounced improvement in physical capacity of patients. Moreover, vitamin D was able to suppress the concentration of hs‐CRP. Our data provide valuable evidence for the efficacy of vitamin D supplementation in the optimal management of HF.”

Vitamin D Supplements May Improve Cardiac Function in Heart Failure Patients

“While vitamin D supplementation had no effect on the six minute walk test distance, it effectively restored normal levels of 25-OH vitamin D3 and was associated with improvements in cardiac function, resulting in an increase of left ventricular ejection fraction by 6.07 percent, from an average baseline of approximately 26 percent.

After 12 months, patients who took vitamin D had greater improvement in echocardiographic measures of LV function, LV dimensions and volumes than patients who took a placebo.

According to the authors, these findings suggest that taking vitamin D supplements may lead to beneficial reverse remodeling.  Patients with chronic heart failure are also frequently deficient in vitamin D and low levels are associated with more severe disease and worse outcomes in these patients.

“New therapies for serious chronic conditions including chronic heart failure are often expensive, increasingly technical and frequently fail to meet the rigorous demands of large phase 3 clinical trials,” the authors write.

“Vitamin D might be a cheap and safe additional option for chronic heart failure patients and may have beneficial effects on multiple features of the syndrome.”





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