Vitamin D Helps Prevent Clogged Arteries

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
By: Byron J. Richards,
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
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Research on type 2 diabetic patients shows that vitamin D blocks a key immune system action that is required for cholesterol to form plaque in the arteries. 

Monocytes are immune cells that circulate in your blood.  Under inflammation in your circulatory system they are converted to macrophages, which no longer circulate.  Rather, macrophages can adhere to your arteries and orchestrate the plaque-forming process.  Type 2 diabetic patients with low vitamin D had more macrophages adhering to arteries.

Vitamin D is a key regulator of the inflammatory tolerance of the immune system.  When vitamin D is low then inflammation can run wild.  Typically, this fact has been studied in regards to an efficient immune response to fight infection.  A person low in vitamin D can get overwhelmed by toxic infection and related inflammation for more easily than someone adequate in vitamin D.

This study shows that vitamin D is also important in containing exaggerated immune reactions in the cardiovascular system that can promote clogged arteries.  While the study was done with type 2 diabetic patients, the mechanism is likely to apply to anyone.

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