Last week I told you how irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) sufferers tend to be deficient in vitamin D and how boosting their intake of the vitamin can alleviate symptoms.
Now vitamin D (also known as the ‘sunshine’ vitamin) is back in the spot light again…
For heart health, let the sunshine in
It turns out that basking in the sunshine could benefit your heart health.
You see, you may not feel like anything is wrong with your ticker, but over time, you could be experiencing ‘silent’ damage in your chest without even knowing it.
Maybe it’s from decades of low-level stress… or a few too many nights tossing and turning… or a few too many days of your blood sugar going all topsy-turvy on you.
None of these things may have knocked you down, but they could be wearing down your heart.
But according to a new study, vitamin D can actually reverse years of wear and tear on your heart!
In the study, out of Ohio University, researchers put impossibly tiny sensors into human endothelial cells, which are the same type of cells that line your heart and blood vessels.
After the researchers exposed the cells to vitamin D, something very interesting happened: Concentrations of nitric oxide soared.
Nitric oxide (NO) increases all-important blood flow to every part of your body, including your heart.
And in the study, that NO boost from vitamin D actually repaired damaged heart cells – and even regenerated cells that were beyond repair.
What’s more, vitamin D also protected the cells from further damage by working as an antioxidant, countering oxidative stress (a common repercussion of stress and diabetes).
No wonder that vitamin D has previously been proven to reduce your risk of a heart attack!
So, show your heart — and the rest of your body — some love by beefing up your stores of vitamin D.
Your body naturally makes D when UV rays from the sun hit your skin, so spending about 20 minutes in the sun (without sunscreen) each day should do the trick.
You can even do some exercise outside – because studies have shown that combining vitamin D with exercise is more beneficial for your heart than either one on its own.
But if it’s often cloudy in your neck of the woods, you can also boost your intake by eating vitamin D-rich foods like fatty fish, egg yolks, and mushrooms.
And since it gets harder to absorb nutrients from both the sun and your food as we age, it’s always a good idea to take a vitamin D supplement.
Just make sure it’s the natural form (vitamin D3) rather than synthetic D2.
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Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.