, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 209-218
Date: 30 Mar 2012

Vitamin D and Cardiovascular Risk

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Abstract

Vitamin D deficiency is a common condition that has well-documented effects on musculoskeletal health. A growing body of literature has related vitamin D deficiency to other chronic disorders, including cardiovascular disease. Several plausible biological mechanisms have been postulated to explain this association, including the effect of poor vitamin D status on intermediate risk factors (eg, hypertension and diabetes), neurohormonal activation, inflammation, and cardiac remodeling. These mechanisms have been explored in experimental and animal studies, as well as several small interventional studies. The results of the controlled trials have not been conclusive to date. In this review, we summarize the existing studies investigating the effects of vitamin D on cardiovascular health, and propose that additional well-designed, prospective, randomized controlled trials are necessary to delineate the appropriate role of vitamin D supplementation in reducing the burden of cardiovascular disease.