Healthy heart, Calcium and Vitamin D
Is there a connection between heart health and vitamin D? Are vitamin E and heart health linked? Researchers for the Women’s Health Initiative hormone replacement therapy and heart health study also investigated the role of other vitamins and minerals.
Since the calcification of plaques on arterial walls can cause coronary disease, researchers took a look at the relationship between heart health and vitamin D enriched calcium supplementation. After seven years, women taking these supplements had neither a decreased nor an increased risk of blood clots, stroke or heart disease. Although calcium and vitamin D are important for preventing osteoporosis, they do not seem to play a role in heart health.
The hormone replacement therapy and heart health study was ended early because of the number of adverse events experienced by the women in the study. At one time, it was believed that HRT promoted heart health, helped to prevent osteoporosis and improved the general health of post-menopausal women. After the hormone replacement therapy and heart health study was published, the recommendations concerning HRT were changed. Now, it is recommended that women who choose HRT to relieve the symptoms associated with menopause should use the lowest dosage, for the shortest period of time possible.
While there may be no connection between heart health and vitamin D, vitamin E and heart health are believed by many to be clearly linked. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, meaning it reduces the negative affects of oxygen on the body. Preliminary research indicates that vitamin E limits the oxidation of “bad” cholesterol in the arteries. It may help prevent the formation of blood clots. It naturally thins the blood to such an extent that high dosages should be avoided by people using blood thinning medications or with bleeding problems.
Other herbs, amino acids and vitamins are believed to support heart health. These include l-arginine, ginkgo biloba, folic acid, potassium and magnesium. While the hormone replacement therapy and heart health study did not focus on these, the better supplement manufacturers rely on the research provided by numerous groups to formulate products that support heart health.