According to a new Egyptian study, vitamin D supplementation may accelerate the clinical improvement of infants treated for chronic congestive heart failure.
To evaluate the potential anti-inflammatory effect of vitamin D supplementation in infants with chronic congestive heart failure (CHF), blood concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines as well as clinical, biochemical, and echocardiographic variables were measured in a randomized controlled trial including
80 infants with CHF who were given 25 micrograms (1,000 IU) vitamin D3 oral drops daily or placebo oral drops for 12 weeks (1). The study results showed that in both study groups, 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations at the beginning of the study were below the lower end of the reference range (33 to 90 ng/mL). The infants supplemented with vitamin D showed significant improvement in several heart parameters, together with higher anti-inflammatory and lower pro-inflammatory cytokine levels, compared with the placebo group.
The researchers concluded that vitamin D supplementation may have significant benefits as an anti-inflam-matory agent, helping acceleration of the clinical improvement and cytokine profile balance, in infants with CHF. They recommended the use of vitamin D supplementation as an adjuvant therapy in the management of CHF associated with myocardial dysfunction and up-regulated pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is the inability of the heart to supply sufficient blood flow to meet the needs of the body. Pediatric heart failure is the most common reason that infants and children who have heart disease receive medical therapy and accounts for at least 50% of referrals for pediatric heart transplantation. Its cause is not fully understood. Studies indicate that increased circulating concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines may contribute to the development of CHF. In vitro studies have suggested that vitamin D sup-presses pro-inflammatory cytokines and increases anti-inflammatory cytokines.