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Old 11-18-2011, 04:24 AM
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Default New study links excessive amounts of vitamin D to onset of atrial fibrillation

Before people start reading this in the general press and getting worried, it should be noted that the levels where Atrial Fibrilation occurred were only in the group with serum levels ABOVE 100ng/dl. You would have to be taking extremely large dosages of vitamin D to get to this level. Most people struggle to get to 50ng/dl taking 5,000iu per day. If your still worried get a Vitamin D finger prick test from the Vitamin D Council.



SALT LAKE CITY � While previous studies have linked vitamin D deficiency to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, new research at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute shows that too much vitamin D can lead to the onset of a dangerous heart condition known as atrial fibrillation.

Researchers at Intermountain Medical Center, the flagship facility for the Intermountain Healthcare system, studied more than 132,000 patients and found the risk of developing atrial fibrillation was two and a half times greater in those with excess levels of vitamin D compared to patients with normal levels.

Results of the study will be presented on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Fla.
Atrial fibrillation is a condition in which the heart's upper chambers quiver instead of beating rhythmically, which can cause blood to pool and clot. Atrial fibrillation has been linked to an increased risk of stroke, heart failure, heart attack, dementia and even Alzheimer's disease.
T. Jared Bunch, MD, a heart rhythm specialist at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute and lead investigator on the study, says the findings are significant because so many Americans use vitamin supplements to promote their health.

"There are both benefits and harm to taking vitamin supplements of all kinds," says Dr. Bunch. "Our goal is to determine a safe dose and usage range so patients can understand what amount is healthy, and what amount may be toxic."

To determine if there is a correlation between too much vitamin D and increased heart risk, Dr. Bunch and his colleagues examined blood tests from 132,000 patients in the Intermountain Healthcare database at Intermountain Medical Center.

Patients did not have any known history of atrial fibrillation, and all had previously received a vitamin D assessment as part of their routine care. Patients were then placed into categories to compare levels of vitamin D: low (less than 20 nanograms per decilter), low/normal (21-40 ng/dl), normal (41-80 ng/dl), high/normal (81-100 ng/dl), and excess (more than 100).

Patients with vitamin D levels in the normal range were compared with other groups to assess their risk of developing atrial fibrillation. In patients with low, low-normal, normal and high-normal levels of vitamin D there was no increased risk of atrial fibrillation. However, in those with excess levels of vitamin D there was a significant increased risk of atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation risk was two and a half times greater in patients with excess levels of vitamin D compared to those with normal levels.

The Institute of Medicine currently advises that healthy adults should be able to take as much as 4000 IU (international units) of vitamin D daily. But the reality is that doctors don't yet know how much vitamin D causes toxicity, which is why Dr. Bunch says communication between a patient and their healthcare provider is critical.

Vitamin D, which is synthesized by the body with exposure to sun, is used to regulate calcium and phosphate concentrations in the blood and is essential for growth and development, cellular health, and bone remodeling, a process where mature bone tissue is removed from the skeleton and new bone tissue is formed.

In regions where sun exposure may be limited, supplemental vitamin D may be required to maintain normal blood levels. The exact amount of vitamin D to achieve normal levels is unknown and usage varies in different regions and communities, which can cause problems, say the researchers.
Dr. Bunch stresses that patients need to tell their doctors about all of the vitamins and supplements they take, as well as all medications, in order to ensure they get the best care possible. He says this research also suggests that checking blood levels of vitamin D in patients that develop atrial fibrillation may help uncover the cause of the abnormal heart rhythm disorder.

"Patients don't think of vitamins and supplements as drugs," says Dr. Bunch. "But any vitamin or supplement that is touted as 'healing' or 'natural' is a drug and will have effects that are both beneficial and harmful. Just like any therapy, vitamins need to be taken for the right reasons and at the right doses."

More than two millions Americans suffer from atrial fibrillation. The risk of developing atrial fibrillation increases as people age. About five percent of people over the age of 80 will develop the heart disorder during their lifetime.
Another study done in 2009 by the same research group reported on the dangers for heart health of TOO LOW a vitamin D level.


New study links vitamin D deficiency to cardiovascular disease and death

Study finds inadequate levels of vitamin D may significantly increase risk of stroke, heart disease and death

MURRAY, UT � While mothers have known that feeding their kids milk builds strong bones, a new study by researchers at the Heart Institute at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City suggests that Vitamin D contributes to a strong and healthy heart as well � and that inadequate levels of the vitamin may significantly increase a person's risk of stroke, heart disease, and death, even among people who've never had heart disease.

For more than a year, the Intermountain Medical Center research team followed 27,686 patients who were 50 years of age or older with no prior history of cardiovascular disease. The participants had their blood Vitamin D levels tested during routine clinical care. The patients were divided into three groups based on their Vitamin D levels � normal (over 30 nanograms per milliliter), low (15-30 ng/ml), or very low (less than 15 ng/ml). The patients were then followed to see if they developed some form of heart disease.

Researchers found that patients with very low levels of Vitamin D were 77 percent more likely to die, 45 percent more likely to develop coronary artery disease, and 78 percent were more likely to have a stroke than patients with normal levels. Patients with very low levels of Vitamin D were also twice as likely to develop heart failure than those with normal Vitamin D levels.

Findings from the study will be presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Conference on Monday, Nov. 16 in Orlando, Florida.
"This was a unique study because the association between Vitamin D deficiency and cardiovascular disease has not been well-established," says Brent Muhlestein, MD, director of cardiovascular research of the Heart Institute at Intermountain Medical Center and one of the authors of the new study. "Its conclusions about how we can prevent disease and provide treatment may ultimately help us save more lives."

A wealth of research has already shown that Vitamin D is involved in the body's regulation of calcium, which strengthens bones � and as a result, its deficiency is associated with musculoskeletal disorders. Recently, studies have also linked Vitamin D to the regulation of many other bodily functions including blood pressure, glucose control, and inflammation, all of which are important risk factors related to heart disease. From these results, scientists have postulated that Vitamin D deficiency may also be linked to heart disease itself.

"Utah's population gave us a unique pool of patients whose health histories are different than patients in previous studies," Dr. Muhlestein says. "For example, because of Utah's low use of tobacco and alcohol, we were able to narrow the focus of the study to the effects of Vitamin D on the cardiovascular system."

The results were quite surprising and very important, says Heidi May, PhD, MS, an epidemiologist with the Intermountain Medical Center research team and one of the study authors.

"We concluded that among patients 50 years of age or older, even a moderate deficiency of Vitamin D levels was associated with developing coronary artery disease, heart failure, stroke, and death," she says. "This is important because Vitamin D deficiency is easily treated. If increasing levels of Vitamin D can decrease some risk associated with these cardiovascular diseases, it could have a significant public health impact. When you consider that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in America, you understand how this research can help improve the length and quality of people's lives."

Because the study was only observational, definitive links between Vitamin D deficiency and heart disease could not be assigned � but the findings create an impetus for further study, says Dr. Muhlestein.

"We believe the findings are important enough to now justify randomized treatment trials of supplementation in patients with Vitamin D deficiency to determine for sure whether it can reduce the risk of heart disease," he says.
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:17 AM
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In order to get rid of my psoriasis I had to get up to blood levels of 130 for periods of time. This was my theraputic dose and level. But I do not recommend staying there for more than a couple of weeks.

Also, regarding atrial fib, I wonder how iodine comes into play, being iodine deficient that is. You cannot just look at one nutrient and say this is it. This is the cause.
"Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth." Marcus Aurelius
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Old 11-18-2011, 11:55 AM
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I think the AF at very high vit D levels is probably due to increased calcium absorption, which could cause lower magnesium absorption. Low magnesium levels are a common cause of AF.
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Old 12-03-2011, 02:41 PM
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I'm sure most people here have also seen my links to AFIBBERS magnesium information and are aware that when you increase vitamin D status you inevitably quadruple the amount of calcium your body can absorb. Most people when they have corrected vitamin d status will, by doing so now be in the position of NOT requiring calcium supplements.
If you are consuming the daily RDA of calcium in your food and water (or other drinks, cocoa perhaps) you will not require extra calcium from supplements, and you should try to limit calcium from supplements to no more than 600mg/daily.
Calcium tenses muscle fibres and excites brain neurons and sets the scene for Atrial fibrillation IF THERE IS INSUFFICIENT MAGNESIUM in the diet.

The majority of US adults, and the same applies to the UK, DON'T get sufficient magnesium in their diets. Which is why we see AF in people with higher levels of vitamin D status.
It is NOT the fault of the vitamin d.
Raising vitamin d is not harmful BUT being short of magnesium WHILE you are consuming and absorbing too much calcium is.
People taking large amounts of vitamin D3 should also check they are not getting MORE than the official RDA for calcium from food/drinks/supplements and also check that their magnesium intake is at least half the calcium RDA.
It also helps to ensure vitamin K2 is available as that helps ensure calcium not only stays in the bones but also isn't causing trouble elsewhere.
Vitamin A and boron are other vitamin D cofactors that are worth double checking.
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