Hand Holding Vitamin

This Vitamin May Save the Brain of Someone Who Survives a Heart Attack

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heart-attackThis article originally appeared on Live in the Now.

Most health-minded individuals are well aware of the numerous well-being preservation benefits derived from maintaining an optimal level of vitamin D in their bloodstream, but this news is a much-welcomed surprised.

A research group from the European Society of Cardiology in Geneva, Switzerland has published the results of their work in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology to explain why patients who have been resuscitated after sudden cardiac arrest may be at higher risk of poor brain function or death if they are vitamin D deficient.

Sudden cardiac arrest is defined as a stoppage of the heart and subsequent loss of blood flow that causes you to stop breathing and lose consciousness. According to the researchers, vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of poor brain function following cardiac arrest seven-fold, and also decreases a patient’s likelihood of surviving.

To conduct their study, researchers analyzed the vitamin D levels and outcomes of 53 unconscious patients upon admission to a hospital in Seoul, Korea. Each patient had been resuscitated following cardiac arrest. The scientists used the Cerebral Performance Category (CPC) score to assess patients’ neurological outcomes six months after they were discharged from the hospital, and monitored vitamin D levels in the blood using the standard 25 (OH)D blood test. The researchers defined patients as vitamin D deficient if their 25 (OH)D levels were below 10 ng/mL, though extensive scientific studies have shown that optimal blood levels are reached at levels between 50 and 70 ng/mL.

The lead study author, Dr. Jin Wi and his team found significantly lower vitamin D levels in patients who did not fare well in the neurological tests, compared to those with a good outcome. Sixty five percent of patients with vitamin D deficiency had a poor neurological outcome at six months after discharge compared to 23 percent of patients with healthy vitamin D levels. It is important to note that these findings were determined using a very low scale for evaluating vitamin D deficiency, and would likely yield even more dramatic results if the patients studies had optimized levels over 50 ng/mL.

Dr Wi concluded, “Our findings suggest that vitamin D deficiency should be avoided, especially in people with a high risk of sudden cardiac arrest. People are at higher risk if they have a personal or family history of heart disease including heart rhythm disorders, congenital heart defects and cardiac arrest.” There should be little doubt that the critical importance of maintaining vitamin D blood saturation levels is of paramount importance to preservation of health and prevention of chronic illnesses ranging from heart disease to cancer, mental defect and brain health.

Volumes of research over the past twenty years have provided indisputable proof that those with the lowest saturation levels of the sunshine vitamin in their blood are significantly more likely to develop a number of different forms of cancer, suffer the consequences of a cardiac event or succumb to the devastating effects of cognitive decline and dementia.

Regular sun exposure and, for many, supplementation are required to raise blood levels of this nutrient so that our trillions of cells throughout the body are saturated and disease incidence is dramatically reduced. This study adds yet another reason to maintain optimal vitamin D levels.

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