Vitamin D Therapy and Cardiovascular Health
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Vitamin D belongs to the family of nuclear steroid hormones, which has pleiotropic effects on several organ systems. Different vitamin D compounds have been studied as potential cardioprotective agents over the past 20 years. The results of these clinical studies vary based on the form and dosage of vitamin D administered during the trial. In the past 5 years, many have described an association of vitamin D compounds and cardiovascular health through reduction in blood pressure, reduction in inflammatory biomarkers, improved insulin sensitivity, and reduction in cardiovascular disease complications and death. Because there are several vitamin D compounds, it is important to consider the full breadth of the literature when examining vitamin D and cardiovascular health, to assist in hypothesis generation and understanding of the current state of the science. Although a growing body of evidence suggests that nutritional vitamin D supplementation and potentially even treatment with synthetic analogues of vitamin D may be cardioprotective, relatively few studies have examined either of these compounds in a randomized, controlled fashion. Studies examining the benefit of vitamin D supplementation are now beginning, but future studies considering calcitriol and analogue therapy also seem warranted.
KeywordsHypertension Blood pressure Clinical trials 25(OH)D Inflammation Cholecalciferol Ergocalciferol Vitamin D deficiency
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