Vitamin D3 Supports Cardiac Function in Chronic Heart Failure Patients
Vitamin D3 supplementation enhances cardiac function in chronic heart failure (CHF) patients also treated with conventional medical therapy, researchers observed in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study e-published in March 2016. Vitamin D deficiency occurs often in CHF patients whose condition is secondary to left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD). Vitamin D deficiency in CHF patients is linked to a worse outcome.
In the Vitamin D Treating Patients with Chronic Heart Failure (VINDICATE) study, researchers evaluated the effects of vitamin D3 supplementation in 220 vitamin D-deficient participants with CHF due to LVSD. Vitamin D deficiency was defined as 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels of <50 nmol/L (<20 ng/mL). The subjects received either 4,000 IU per day of vitamin D3 for one year or a matching non-calcium-based placebo. At one year, the investigators evaluated changes from baseline in six-minute walking distance and left ventricular ejection fraction. They also assessed renal function and serum calcium concentration at three-month intervals.
In the 163 patients who completed the study, six-minute walking distance after vitamin D supplementation did not improve. However, in the vitamin D group there was a pronounced improvement in cardiac function as measured by echocardiography. Additionally, there was a reversal of left ventricular remodeling. Vitamin D supplementation had no significant effects on calcium levels or renal function.
The study authors concluded, “VINDICATE has demonstrated that high-dose vitamin D supplementation is safe, well tolerated and associated with a clinically relevant improvement in cardiac function in CHF patients already taking current optimal therapies.”