American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 1–14 | Cite as

Vitamin D and the Cardiovascular System: An Overview of the Recent Literature

  • Piergiorgio Messa
  • Manuela Curreri
  • Anna Regalia
  • Carlo Maria Alfieri
Review Article


Since the discovery that the enzyme catalyzing the synthesis of the most active natural vitamin D metabolite (calcitriol) and the vitamin D-specific receptor (VDR) were expressed in a wide range of tissues and organs, not only involved in the mineral metabolism (MM), there has been increasing interest on the putative ‘non classical’ roles of vitamin D metabolites, particularly on their possible effects on the cardiovascular (CV) system. These hypothetical CV effects of vitamin D gained particular interest in the nephrology field, given the high prevalence of CV disease in patients affected by either acute or chronic kidney diseases. However, notwithstanding a huge amount of experimental data suggesting a possible protective role of vitamin D on the CV system, the conclusions of two recent meta-analyses from the Cochrane group and a recent statement from the Institute of Medicine, based on a complete revision of the available data, concluded that there is no clear evidence for a role of vitamin D other than that strictly associated with bone health. However, a continuous and increasing flow of new studies still continues to add information on this topic. In the present review, we have tried to critically address the data added on this topic in the last 2 years, considering separately the experimental, observational, and intervention studies that have appeared in PubMed in the last 2 years, discussing the data providing proof, pro or contra, the involvement of vitamin D in CV disease, both in the absence or presence of kidney function impairment.


Chronic Kidney Disease Chronic Kidney Disease Patient Vascular Calcification Alfacalcidol Active Vitamin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



No external funding was used in the preparation of this review. MC, AR, and CMA have no potential conflicts of interest with the content of this review. The authors acknowledge the help of Dr. Marina Balderacchi and Mr. Andrea Centa for their help in editing this manuscript. PM has received lecture fees from Amgen, Abbott, Fresenius, and Roche.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Piergiorgio Messa
    • 1
  • Manuela Curreri
    • 1
  • Anna Regalia
    • 1
  • Carlo Maria Alfieri
    • 1
  1. 1.Nephrology, Dialysis and Renal Transplant UnitIRCCS-Fondazione Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore-PoliclinicoMilanItaly

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