Vitamin D deficiency decreases brain function and increases mortality rate after heart attack
Maintaining good health through nutritious foods isn’t just important for every day well-being but can be crucial when the body needs to repair itself following an injury. Our bodies have miraculous healing capabilities, which can be heightened with a little extra help from nature’s vitamins.
Luckily for us, everything that we need to be healthy is found naturally in our environment, and this includes elements that are helpful for healing. Scientists believe that humans require just 13 different vitamins to stay healthy, all of which offer unique health benefits.
While science has already unlocked many benefits of vitamin D, this latest bit of research unveils yet another remarkable revelation: Healthy vitamin D levels help the brain recover and function better following a heart attack.
“Vitamin D deficiency increased the risk of poor neurological outcome after sudden cardiac arrest by 7-fold”
Conducted by Dr. Jin Wi, the study sought to observe how vitamin D deficiencies affect patients recovering from cardiac arrest, so far a poorly researched subject.
Not only did the study’s outcome show that low vitamin D levels increased the risk for poor brain function after sudden cardiac arrest by sevenfold, but the deficiencies were also linked to a higher chance of death following sudden cardiac arrest.
While presenting his findings at the Acute Cardiovascular Care 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland, Dr. Wi said:
In patients resuscitated after sudden cardiac arrest, recovery of neurological function is very important, as well as survival. Vitamin D deficiency has been reported to be related to the risk of having various cardiovascular diseases, including sudden cardiac arrest. We investigated the association of vitamin D deficiency with neurologic outcome after sudden cardiac arrest, a topic on which there is no information so far.
Dr. Wi and his team analyzed clinical data from 53 unconscious patients who were resuscitated after experiencing sudden cardiac arrest at Severance Cardiovascular Hospital in Seoul, Korea. The patient’s “neurologic outcome” was measured using the Cerebral Performance Category (CPC) score six months after discharge.
A CPC score of 1 to 2 was considered a “good” neurologic outcome, while scores 3 to 5 were considered “poor.” Of the 53 patients analyzed, CPR was performed on 41 one of them, or 77 percent.
Those with high risk of cardiac arrest should avoid vitamin D deficiencies
Based on the results, scientists were able to conclude that the patients with poor neurological outcome had significantly lower vitamin D levels than those who had a good neurological outcome.
About 65 percent of the patients with vitamin D deficiencies experienced a poorneurological outcome six months after discharge compared to 23 percent of patients with healthy vitamin D levels.
“Patients with vitamin D deficiency were more likely to have a poor neurological outcome or die after sudden cardiac arrest than those who were not deficient,” said Dr. Wi.
Nearly 30 percent of patients with vitamin D deficiencies passed away at the six-month mark compared to none of the patients with healthy vitamin D levels.
“Nearly one-third of the patients who were deficient in vitamin D had died 6 months after their cardiac arrest, whereas all patients with sufficient vitamin D levels were still alive.”
Scientists say people with a personal or family history of heart disease should especially avoid vitamin D deficiencies. “Other risk factors for cardiac arrest include smoking, obesity, diabetes, a sedentary lifestyle, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and drinking too much alcohol,” warned Dr. Wi.
A large, randomized trial is required in order to learn whether or not vitamin D supplements can actually be used to treat people that are at high risk for developing heart complications.