Another case of aortic valve disease reduced with vitamin D

I watched Seth's aortic valve deteriorate over a two year period.

I was first consulted in 2004 to offer an opinion on Seth's heart scan score of 779 and flagrantly abnormal cholesterol patterns, including triglycerides in the 400 mg/dl range. But I heard a murmur, as well, a murmur of a leaky aortic valve, "aortic valve insufficiency."

Over the next two years, I watched Seth's aortic valve worsen, going from mild leakiness to severe.

In 2006-2007, I tiptoed into vitamin D replacement and asked Seth to add some vitamin D. Time passed and Seth's aortic valve got progressively worse.

Over the past year, However, he's maintained a truly healthy level of vitamin D, with blood levels consistently in the 60-70 ng/ml range.

While Seth's last echocardiogram showed a severely leaky aortic valve, the most recent echo showed mild leakiness ("mild aortic insufficiency")--a dramatic reduction.

I continue to see this in many, though not all, patients with aortic valve disease. Though I've more frequently witnessed either stalled progression or reversal of aortic valve stenosis (stiffness), I've now seen a handful of people with aortic valve leakiness (insufficiency) also reverse.

I've posted about this peculiar phenomenon previously:

Aortic valve disease and vitamin D
More on aortic valve disease and vitamin D

Prior to vitamin D, I had NEVER witnessed any aortic valve disease stop or reverse.

A formal trial at some point would be invaluable.

Comments (8) -

  • Jenny

    12/12/2008 2:46:00 PM |

    Dr. Davis,

    I have a question to you. I am seeing a lot of research lately linking low Vitamin D blood levels in obese people to a multitude of conditions.

    However, someone whose research chops I respect told me that it is possible that factors associated with the obesity is suppressing the vitamin D level rather than the obesity resulting from it.  

    I understand how raising Vitamin D might be very effective in cardiovascular conditions where calcium metabolism is awry, extending the issue further, but I wonder if you have any thoughts on whether raising Vitamin D would have any impact on obesity and its associated maladies without other steps being taken like lowering carbohydrates and blood sugar.

    One study I found suggests, for example, it may be that something about having diabetes lowers Vitamin D levels, rather than that Vitamin D improves insulin sensitivity.

    A study in which people who were deficient in Vitamin D were given glucose tolerance tests and then given a massive dose of Vitamin D which raised their levels to normal after which they were given follow up glucose tolerance tests found no change in blood sugar or insulin sensitivity after Vitamin D was normalized.

    Glucose tolerance and vitamin D: Effects of treating vitamin D deficiency Kamilia Tai. Nutrition. Volume 24, Issue 10, Pages 950-956 (October 2008).

  • Bevy

    12/12/2008 10:28:00 PM |

    I take Vitamin D for SAD! ;) It's really helped. I take 1k iu 3X a day. Smile Along with alot of other supplements.

  • Anne

    12/13/2008 5:30:00 PM |

    That is awesome - hope Seth continues to heal. This info needs to get out to other physicians.

    I am seeing more and more patients who have been tested for vitamin D deficiency. That is good. But many of them are being told to stop the vitamin D once the level comes up to "normal" or stop after a month without further blood testing. One person had started and stopped vitamin D 3 times - she said her doctor told her he did not know why it kept dropping. It is sad that most physicians know so little about vitamins, supplements and nutrition.

  • Dr. William Davis

    12/14/2008 2:33:00 PM |

    Hi, Jenny--

    Perhaps it's both.

    I can tell you that, from my perspective in the "trenches," reduction of blood sugar and presumed sensitization to insulin is very real, obese or no.

    It is also true that the more fat present, the greater the need. This has been thought to be due to sequestration in fat tissue, but that is pure speculation.

    Also, I have never seen vitamin D go up more than minimally with weight loss. I believe there is a rise, but that says nothing about the path of causality.

  • Anonymous

    12/14/2008 5:59:00 PM |

    dr Davis,

    I understand calcification of the valves plays a role.

    Decalcification of bone is a result of high levels of 1,25D (calcitriol), which may play a major role in the calcification of these valves.

    Did you measure the levels of 1,25D in these patients and how high were those levels ?

    Sincerely, Frans

  • Anonymous

    12/15/2008 10:27:00 PM |

    My Georgia teacher's Blue-Cross charged me $225 for a LabCorp Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy test.

    Life Extension's test for $62.67 may be a bargin:


  • Bill Ball

    11/2/2009 4:49:16 AM |

    You say a formal trial at some point would be invaluable.  Why not do it?  I consider it rather unethical for a physcian to post anecdotal case reports like this on the Web.  Why not at least submit a letter or case report collection to a peer-reviewed medical journal where it could get proper scrutiny?  Posting it in a blog puts this in the hands of lay people who could inappropriately apply this to their own situation and perhaps do more harm than good.

  • buy jeans

    11/3/2010 8:33:38 PM |

    While Seth's last echocardiogram showed a severely leaky aortic valve, the most recent echo showed mild leakiness ("mild aortic insufficiency")--a dramatic reduction.