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Nanosensors Uncover How Vitamin D3 Helps Repair Damaged Cardiovascular Cells

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and much of it can be attributed to metabolic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and hardening of the arteries. A recent study has uncovered how vitamin D3 is able to repair heart damage caused by metabolic conditions.


For this study, researchers used nanosensors 200-300 millimeter in diameter with a detection limit of 1 nanometer in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. The sensors detected nitric oxide and preoxynitrite concentrations in the endothelial cells of African American and Caucasian American donors.


The sensors allowed researchers to observe the balance and imbalance of nitric oxide and peroxynitrite. Nitric oxide helps regulate blood flow and prevent clot formation and is considered a marker of a healthy cardiovascular system. Peroxynitrite is an element that is produced by nitric oxide that is toxic to living cells.


Vitamin D3 helps stimulate production of protective nitric oxide and decrease the amount of cytotoxic peroxynitrite. The researchers found that vitamin D significantly brought levels of the two compounds into balance in a dysfunctional endothelium, even more than is usually observed in a normal endothelium.


Researchers from Ohio University led the study. It was published on January 19, 2018, in the International Journal of Nanomedicine.


Consumption of vitamin D3 has been linked to reducing the risk of osteoporosis and high blood pressure in mature adults, improving kidney health, reducing the risk of skin cancer, improving cardiovascular health, combating diabetes, and improving age related eye degeneration.


Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process vitamin D as we age. This can be a particular problem for people living in the northern hemisphere, where sunlight is scarce for much of the year. A high quality vitamin D3 supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.

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