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Calcium, vitamin D supplementation associated improved stroke recovery

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Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.

September 9 2016.Findings from a randomized trial reported on August 26, 2016 in the International Journal of Clinical Practicerevealed benefits in association with calcium and vitamin D supplementation among stroke patients.

The trial included 53 participants with insufficient vitamin D levels who were receiving usual care for ischemic stroke. Twenty-five subjects received an injection of 600,000 IU vitamin D3 followed by a monthly oral dose of 60,000 IU in addition to 1,000 milligrams calcium daily for six months. Imaging of the brain and blood testing for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, parathyroid hormone and other factors were conducted at the beginning of the study. Stroke outcome was assessed and blood testing for vitamin D and parathyroid hormone was repeated at three and six months.

After six months, serum vitamin D levels increased by an average of 18.8 ng/mL in group that received the vitamin, in comparison with a negligible increase in the unsupplemented group. Conversely, parathyroid hormone levels decreased in those who received the supplements while increasing in the remainder of the subjects. “Good outcome” was determined in 44% of supplemented patients compared with 39.3% of those that received usual care. Supplementation with calcium and vitamin D was associated with a 74% lower risk of death over the course of the study in comparison with the usual care group.

“This is the first randomized controlled study assessing the effect of vitamin D and calcium supplementation on ischemic stroke outcomes and points towards a potential benefit,” the authors announce.

“Ischemic stroke survivors with suboptimal vitamin D status have a high likelihood of remaining vitamin D deficient/insufficient at 6 months post stroke, if not supplemented,” they conclude. “There is a decrease in mortality with vitamin D and calcium supplementation, and a trend towards improvement in disability which needs evaluation in a larger trial.”

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