(NaturalNews) Critical research into the importance of vitamin D on vascular health was carried out at the Emory University School of Medicine and reported to the American College of Cardiology. Researchers provided evidence that increasing levels of vitamin D circulating in the blood is essential to improved cardiovascular health and to a dramatically lowered risk of heart disease and heart attack.
The study included 554 adults with an average age of 47 years. Participants had a typical vitamin D level of 32 ng/ml, with 14% testing as deficient (less than 20 ng/ml) and 33% testing as insufficient (less than 30 ng/ml). While standard medical practice considers 30 ng/ml to be an ideal minimum level, most natural health experts advise attaining a 25(OH)D reading between 50 and 70 ng/ml for proper cell saturation of the prohormone.
Researchers monitored the ability of the participants` blood vessels to relax by inflating and removing a blood pressure cuff from their arms. Blood was then allowed to flow back into the arm and the degree of elasticity was measured by means of an ultrasound. They found that arterial elasticity was directly related to the blood level measured for vitamin D saturation. Those individuals with the lowest or deficient readings experienced a much higher degree of hardening.
Participants with the highest readings experienced significantly improved vascular elasticity and lower blood pressure readings. The study author Dr. Al Mheid noted, "There is already a lot known about how vitamin D could be acting here"
. Regarding mechanisms responsible for the cardiovascular health
improvements Dr. Mheid concluded: "It could be strengthening endothelial cells and the muscles surrounding the blood vessels. It could also be reducing the level of angiotensin, a hormone that drives increased blood pressure, or regulating inflammation."
Research results published in the journal Atherosclerosis
provide evidence that acai
juice provides powerful anti-inflammatory benefits that protect the delicate coronary arteries from hardening. Researchers found that acai juice protects against the development of atherosclerosis by inhibiting pro-inflammatory compounds known as cytokines that promote arterial thickening and the beginning stage of heart disease.
The juice was shown to lower levels of lipid peroxidation, a process that causes normal LDL cholesterol to combine with oxygen and incorporate with other materials to become arterial plaque
. This study found that drinking acai juice altered the expression of 17 genes that contribute to LDL cholesterol oxidation. Health-minded individuals will want maintain proper vitamin D blood levels and drink 4 to 8-ounces of unsweetened acai juice each day (or an equivalent standardized extract) to dramatically lower the health risks associated with arterial hardening.
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