And now comes more genetic proof that Vitamin D is an important heart health player. Once it became established that a "Vitamin D receptor" existed in the heart it was only a matter of time before researchers began teasing out why nature put it there. New research shows that a gene variant of CYP27B1, which blocked production of an enzyme responsible for Vitamin D activation, accounted for a greater than two-fold risk for congestive heart failure (odds ratio 2.14, 95% CI 1.05-4.39). For a quick stats lesson on all that numeric gobbledygook it means that the researchers were "confident" that if they repeated their research 20 times they would get a result showing a increased risk of anywhere from 1.05 to 4.39 in 19 of the trials (95% of 20). The 95% figure is considered the minimum confidence threshhold for accepting a statistical result as valid. You can also look at the "confidence interval" (CI). If the interval does not include "1" (no risk difference) you are fairly certain your experiment determined a greater risk (a range above 1) or a lower risk (a range below 1). We can decipher "odds ratio" another day!
Of note was that a single SNP (the C allele of SNP rs4646536 for all you gene freaks out there like me) was the culprit. The large NIH VITAL Trial will provide more definitive data on both Vitamin D and Omega-3 links to heart disease when it is completed sometime in 2014. Until at least then, I will be taking my 8000IU of Vitamin D (what I need to hit a blood level of 60ng/dL - everyone is different).