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Sunshine Works for Congestive Heart Failure

Three years ago, I told you about the lack of vitamin D contributing to congestive heart failure (CHF). New evidence shows getting a daily dose of vitamin D -- and there's no healthier or easier way to get it than from the sun -- boosts the body's natural anti-inflammatory response to prevent it.

German scientists monitored the effects of a 2,000 IU dose of vitamin D supplement versus a placebo per day on 123 CHF patients. Nine months later, vitamin D patients enjoyed a 43 percent increase in their interleukin-10 levels (a natural anti-inflammatory produced by the body) and no jump in tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) levels, pro-inflammatory chemicals that have been linked to CHF.

On the other hand, TNF-alpha levels in patients not given vitamin D rose 12 percent. What's more, their interleukin-10 levels were unchanged and the amount of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (the non-active storage form of vitamin D in one's body) dropped.

No surprise, conventional medicine is finally getting on board the vitamin D bandwagon, using the natural power of sunshine to treat type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis during a woman's pregnancy and even tuberculosis.

The trick about taking a high-dose vitamin D supplement: As long as you take it as an oral supplement, you must have your blood levels checked regularly. If you receive your vitamin D through sun exposure, however, you'll get the optimum amount your body needs, eliminating the necessity for testing.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 83, No. 4, April 2006: 754-759

Nutra Ingredients.com April 10, 2006

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