Vitamin D and cardiovascular disease

Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension, 06/14/2011

Experimental and clinical evidence suggests a link between vitamin D deficiency and cardiovascular disease. Nonetheless, it remains unclear how many of the reported associations are causal. Well designed prospective randomized controlled trials are necessary to further investigate the appropriate role of vitamin D supplementation for cardiovascular risk reduction.

  • Vitamin D plays a role in many biochemical pathways outside of bone and calcium metabolism, including the cardiovascular system.
  • Prior studies have linked vitamin D deficiency to hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes mellitus, and coronary artery disease.
  • In this review, authors summarize existing studies investigating these associations, specifically those addressing potential mechanisms, epidemiologic associations, and possible benefits of supplementation.
  • Experimental studies have demonstrated that activated vitamin D reduces neurohormonal activation, inhibits inflammation, and suppresses ventricular hypertrophy.
  • Both retrospective and prospective observational studies have related vitamin D levels with cardiometabolic risk factors and outcomes.
  • To date, there have been a small number of randomized controlled trials investigating the effects of vitamin D supplementation on cardiovascular structure and function, but results have been inconclusive or conflicting.

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