Heart problems have been one of the major battles fought at the medical field and breakthrough result has recently claimed new hope for patient with heart problems.
Dr Klaus Witte from the School of Medicine and Consultant Cardiologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust was the leader of this five-year research project at University of Leeds. He claimed: “This is a significant breakthrough for patients. It is the first evidence that Vitamin D3 can improve heart function of people with heart muscle weakness – known as heart failure. These findings could make a significant different to the care of heart failure patients.”
People can usually obtain Vitamin D3 by absorbing sunlight, but patient with heart failure often lacking the ability even during summer because older people produce less Vitamin D3 in response to sunlight than younger people. Vitamin D3 can also be reduced by the use of sunscreen.
The research, funded by the Medical Research Council had over 160 patients involved. These patients are located in Leeds who were already being treated for the heart failure by some common methods such as beta-blockers, ACE-inhibitors and pacemakers.
Participants were given either Vitamin D3 or a dummy tablet (placebo) for one year. The result suggested that those patients who took vitamin D3 showed an improvement in heart function but none for those who took a placebo.
This means that for some patients with heart failure problems, taking vitamin D3 regularly may lower the need for them to be placed with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), a device which detected any irregular heart rates and can shock the heart to restore a normal pace.
“ICDs are expensive and involve an operation” said Dr Witte. “If we can avoid an ICD implant in just a few patients, then that is a boost to patients and the NHS as a whole.” This finding has truly been great news for those who suffer from heart diseases.