Skip to main content

Vitamin D and heart


The authors briefly review the biological effects of vitamin D on the heart and discuss the experimental and clinical studies related to the potential protective effect of vitamin D on the cardiovascular system. Experimental and observational studies in man strongly suggest that vitamin D supplementation can benefit heart failure patients and improve cardiovascular health in the population. However, presently there are limited randomized controlled studies. The authors highlight the hypothesis that vitamin D-induced mechanisms activating calcium channels may represent a novel target for therapy in patients with heart failure.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. Meems LMG, van der Harst P, van Gilst WH, de Boer RA (2011) Vitamin D biology in heart failure: molecular mechanisms and systemic review. Curr Drug Targ 12:29–41

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Schleitoff SS, Zittermann A, Trenderich G, Brthold HK, Stehle P, Koerfer R (2006) Vitamin D supplementation improves cytokine profile in patients with congestive heart failure: a double-blind, randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 83:754–759

    Google Scholar 

  3. Haussler MR, Juruka PW, Mizwichi M, Norman AW (2011) Vitamin D receptor (VDR)-mediated actions and 1alpha,25(OH)2 vitamin D3: genomic and non-genomic mechanisms. Best Pract Res Clin Endocr Metab 25:543–559

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Berridge MJ, Bootman MD, Lipp P (1998) Calcium: a life and death signal. Nature 395:645–648

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Dusso AS, Brown AJ, Slatoposky E (2005) Vitamin D. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 289:F8–F28

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Watanabe H, Murakami M, Ohba T, Tokahashi Y, Ito H (2008) TRP channels and cardiovascular disease. Pharmacol Ther 118:337–351

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Abriel H, Syam N, Sottas U, Amarouch MY, Rougier JS (2012) TRPM4 channels in the cardiovascular system: physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology. Biochem Phramacol 84:873–881

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Nemerowski CW, Dorsch MP, Simpson RU, Bone HG, Aaronson KD, Bleske BE (2009) Vitamin D and cardiovascular disease. Pharmacotherapy 29:691–708

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Witham MD, Crighton LJ, Gillespie ND, Struthers AD, McMurdo ME (2010) The effects of vitamin D supplementation on physical and quality of life in older patients with heart failure: a randomized controlled trial. Circ Heart Fail 3:195–201

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Pfeifer M, Begerow B, Minne HW, Suppan K, Fahrleitnedr-Pammer A, Dobing H (2009) Effects of a long-term vitamin D and calcium supplementation on falls and parameters of muscle function in community-dwelling older individuals. Osteoporos Int 20:315–322

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Pittas AG, Chung M, Trikalinos T, Mitri J, Brendel M, Patel K, Lichtenstein AH, Lan J, Balk EM (2010) Systematic review: vitamin D and cardiovascular outcomes. Ann Int Med 152:307–314

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Angelo Carpi.

Additional information

M. Camici: retired.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Camici, M., Galetta, F., Franzoni, F. et al. Vitamin D and heart. Intern Emerg Med 8, 5–9 (2013).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Vitamin D
  • Heart