Vitamin D and Heart Disease!

Vitamin DVitamin D has long been associated with bone health. However, over the last seven years new research, especially research by Dr. Michael F. Holick, has shown that this vitamin is essential in the prevention of heart disease and a host of other illnesses. For example, research now shows that vitamin D has an active role in the following biological functions: 

  • Calcium Balance – Maintaining blood calcium levels within a narrow range is vital for cardiovascular function, bone growth, bone density, and functioning of the nervous system. Specific to the cardiovascular system, proper calcium levels are needed to activate the NOS enzymes used by the endothelial cells to create nitric oxide from the essential amino acid L-arginine. 
  • Cell Differentiation – The active form of vitamin D inhibits cellular proliferation and stimulates cellular differentiation. Cellular proliferation is essential for growth and wound healing but when left unchecked it can lead to cancer. Vitamin D helps to regulate this so that cells differentiate into specialized cells for specific functions in your body.
  • Immune System Modulator – Research suggests that proper levels of vitamin D help to prevent the autoimmune diseases of diabetes, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. This vitamin also helps to boost your immune system functions. 
  • Insulin Secretion – New research suggests that insufficient vitamin D levels adversely effect insulin secretion and glucose tolerance in type 2 diabetes. 

This is just a brief look at the role vitamin D plays in your overall health. We haven’t yet touched on how it can prevent heart disease. Before we do, we need to review some basic facts about this vitamin. 

Vitamin D Basics!

There are two basic forms of vitamin D. One comes from plants in the form of ergocalciferol or vitamin D2. The other comes from humans in the form of cholecalciferol or vitamin D3. Extensive research on both D2 and D3 has shown that the D3 form is clearly better when supplementing with vitamin D.  

Supplementation has become a big factor in helping people achieve the necessary amounts of vitamin D. Why? For two basic reasons: 

First, your body is able to use the UVB of sunlight and convert 7-dehydrocholsterol, located in your skin, into vitamin D3. Unfortunately, we spend less time outdoors in the sunlight for a variety of reasons. This has dramatically reduced our exposure to UVB radiation needed to help people naturally produce their own vitamin D. This is compounded in the winter months when exposure to sunlight is further reduced. 

Second, we’ve underestimated the daily amount of vitamin D needed for good health. For a very long time, vitamin D has been categorized as a fat-soluble vitamin. New research is clearly showing that it’s not simply a fat-soluble vitamin used just for metabolic reactions. It’s also a hormone. There are receptor sites for vitamin D on the cell membranes of most cells in your body. As our understanding of the role that vitamin D plays in both metabolic and hormonal functions has increased, the blood levels needed to sustain this activity has almost doubled from what was previously thought necessary.  

Vitamin D and Heart Disease! 

Thanks to the work of Dr. Michael F. Holick and others, it is clear that vitamin D plays a critical role in preventing heart disease. It does this both directly and indirectly. However, it’s important to note that either method affects the health of the endothelial cells and their ability to properly produce nitric oxide. Let’s look at one indirect connection: 

Diabetes According to Dr. Holick, children from Finland who received 2,000 IU of vitamin D a day during the first year of life and followed for 31 years reduced their risk of developing type 1 diabetes by 88%. Dr. Holick goes on to say in a recent interview 

In terms of type 2 diabetes, the beta islet cell that makes insulin has a vitamin D receptor. Active vitamin D stimulates insulin production. There is evidence that vitamin D may be directly acting on fat cells to improve insulin sensitivity. Therefore, vitamin D plays a role in insulin production, as well as enhancing insulin sensitivity and is a likely explanation for one of the studies I cite in the book (The Vitamin D Solution) that there was a 33% reduced relative risk of developing type 2 diabetes for men and women who had the highest vitamin D intake.” 

Uncontrolled blood sugar, which is the challenge of diabetes, caused oxidative stress to the endothelial cells resulting in damage. Damaged endothelial cells affect the proper production of nitric oxide, which is the master signaling molecule of the cardiovascular system. This can lead to a host of heart disease issues like high blood pressure, poor circulation, blood platelet cells sticking together to increase the risk for heart attacks and strokes, and well as other damage to the vascular walls. 

Now let’s look at several direct connections: 

Blood Pressure Regulation Vitamin D plays a direct role in helping you maintain your blood pressure. It does this in two ways. First, it helps to maintain proper calcium levels so that NOS enzymes used by the endothelial cells can properly produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator that relaxes the smooth muscle tone of the vascular wall. This controls blood pressure. Plus, vitamin D helps to regulate proper blood volume levels that are needed to control blood pressure. 

Heart Muscle Function – Vitamin D plays a very important role in preventing muscle weakness. It also plays a significant role in nerve firing and nerve triggering of the heart muscle contraction. This means that vitamin D plays a vital role in both nerve stimulation for heart muscle contraction and the strength of that contraction. 

ArteriosclerosisVitamin D inhibits vascular calcification by blocking the release of inflammatory cytokines and adhesion molecules that can damage the endothelial cells. This is extremely important since the American Heart Association attributes 75% of all cardiovascular disease to arteriosclerosis.  

Vitamin D Daily Recommendations! 

In a recent study reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, vitamin D deficiencies are more wide-spread than previously thought, by as much as 50% or higher. This is especially true for older adults. The current recommendations for adults 18 years and older are 2000 IU per day. If you are overweight or obese then you most likely need even more.  

To learn more about how vitamin D can be a critical factor in improving your overall health and lowering your risk for heart disease, I would recommend The Vitamin D Solution by Michael F. Holick, PhD, MD who is considered by many to be The Pioneer of Vitamin D Research. Also, the following link on vitamin D would be helpful: 

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=110  

Together we can work to save a million lives! 

Dan Hammer 

Dan Hammer has a background in biology, chemistry, and exercise physiology. He used to run one of the largest health club operations in the Chicagoland area and has been helping people with their wellness issues for more than 25 years.  

The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information about vitamin D and heart disease has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.

What Foods Contain L-Arginine and L-Citrulline?

I’ve written many articles about the need for L-arginine and L-citrulline. How critical they are for nitric oxide production. How your endothelial cells use these two amino acids to create nitric oxide, the master signaling molecule of your cardiovascular system.

Quite frankly, you could not live without nitric oxide. It’s a critical molecule in many biological functions but especially for good cardiovascular health. So, I’m often asked:

What foods can I eat that contain L-arginine and L-citrulline?

To answer that question I went shopping, bought some foods and put together the following video. Enjoy the video and I’ll have some observations to make after you watch it:

In preparing this video I came across an excellent chart that lists food sources high in the amino acid L-arginine. I’ll provide you a link to this chart at the end of this article. It was an eye opener, even for me. It changed my thinking on dairy products and it even helped me to discover the reason why Rocky Balboa was able to beat Apollo Creed in the Rocky movies. Let’s start with some observations.

Observation 1Plant based foods are a better source of L-arginine then animal products.

The chart I found lists the L-arginine content in 100 grams of food. 100 grams is just slightly less than a ¼ pound. You’ll note that if you wanted to get 1 gram of L-arginine or more in your diet, there are 15 choices for plant products but only 5 choices for animal products.

Observation 2 – Much of the literature recommends dairy products as a good source of L-arginine yet it’s listed last on the chart.

You would have to drink 44 ounces or just slightly less than 1 ½ quarts of milk to get 1 gram of L-arginine. Not good for those who are lactose intolerant.

Observation 3 – Most research indicates that for you to receive a therapeutic benefit from L-arginine you need to consume at least 5 grams of this amino acid at one time. So I selected 6 food items from the list that I thought would be common food choices. I did the math conversations to look at how much food you would need to eat to take in 5 grams of L-arginine. I also looked at the number of calories and grams of fat it would bring into your body. Here’s what I discovered and what I based most of the above video on:

Peanuts – 6 oz / .36 lb = 918 calories and 70 g of fat

Beans – 12 oz / .75 lb = 338 calories and 1.5 g of fat

Tuna – 10 oz / .63 lb = 528 calories and 18 g of fat

Chicken Breast – 15 oz / .92 lb = 756 calories and 5 g of fat

Salmon – 15 oz / .92 lb = 865 calories and 42 g of fat

Eggs (Whole, Raw) – 21 oz / 1.34 lbs = 915 calories and 55 g of fat

Observation 4 – Now you can see why weight lifters choose beans, tuna, and chicken breasts as their primary source of protein. It provides them with the proper amount of L-arginine with the least number of calories and grams of fat. Even though peanuts have a higher concentration of L-arginine when you factor in calories and grams of fat it’s not the first choice if you need to watch you weight.

How Rocky Balboa Beat Apollo Creed!

Observation 5 – This is the Rocky Balboa observation. Go back and watch the first movie and compare Rocky’s diet to Apollo Creed’s. Remember the scene where Rocky cracks open about a half dozen eggs into a glass and then drinks them raw, yoke and all. Whether he realized it or not (and I’m sure he and Sylvester Stallone didn’t) he was loading his body with L-arginine to improve his blood flow. This maximized his workout program and improved his cardiovascular stamina.

Observation 6 – There is not much of a choice in foods for L-citrulline. Watermelon is your one and only good food choice. You can read my article, “The Need for L-Citrulline!” to get more information on this subject.

When people realize all the food they need to eat, and the limited menu they have to choose from, they begin to ask the question:

Is it better to get these critical amino acids through food or supplementation?

Well, I’m putting the finishing touches on this video and will have it posted in a couple of days.

Together we can work to save a million lives!

Dan Hammer

P.S. Here is the URL for the chart I used in the information above:

http://www.dietaryfiberfood.com/larginine-high.php

Dan Hammer has a background in biology, chemistry and exercise physiology. He used to run one of the largest health club operations in the Chicagoland area and has been helping people with their wellness issues for more than 25 years.

The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information contained in this article about L-Arginine and L-Citrulline has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.

ProArgi-9 Plus Instructions!

I’ve been asked by many of my clients and visitors to this website to put together a short video on ProArgi-9 PlusProArgi-9 Plus instructions. I’ve just completed this video. In it I go into detail on how to take this unique and remarkable product. A product designed to help repair the endothelial cells of your cardiovascular system; to improve their ability to properly produce nitric oxide over a long period of time.

If you remember from previous posts, nitric oxide is the master signaling molecule of the cardiovascular system. Additionally, nitric oxide is critical to other very important biological functions.

Here is the video. In addition to the ProArgi-9 Plus instructions I also answer several questions like:

  • How much ProArgi-9 Plus should you take?

  • When is the best time of day to take ProArgi-9 Plus? Mornings? Afternoon? Before you go to bed?

  • Can you take ProArgi-9 Plus with food?

  • Can athletes use ProArgi-9 Plus?

  • Does ProArgi-9 Plus interfere with medications?

I hope this video was helpful in understanding how to take ProArgi-9 Plus. Please feel free to share this information with family and friends.

To Order ProArgi-9 Plus!

If you’re interested in ordering ProArgi-9 Plus then please click on Quick Order Page for ProArgi-9 Plus.” Once on the page I would ask you to Bookmark it so that you can conveniently return to it whenever you need to.

I absolutely believe in this product and have witnessed its amazing ability to improve the cardiovascular health of people. With that said I’m not a doctor and would never want to replace your physician or doctor. Instead, I want to work with you and your health care provider to make sure this is right for you. If you or your health care provider have any questions, then please email me or call me. My contact information is:

dan@agingnomore.com

630-936-8079

I will try to provide you and your health care provider with the information you need to make the best decision for you. Our goal is to help as many people as possible see significant improvements in their cardiovascular system so that they can enjoy a higher quality of life.

Together we can work to save a million lives!

Dan Hammer

Dan Hammer has a background in biology, chemistry and exercise physiology. He used to run one of the largest health club operations in the Chicagoland area and has been helping people with their wellness issues for more than 25 years.
The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information contained in this article about ProArgi-9 Plus has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.