Vitamin D, Calcium, and Cardiovascular Disease: A“D”vantageous or “D”etrimental? An Era of Uncertainty

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

While the function of vitamin D in regulating calcium homeostasis is well established, there has been growing interest in its role in the prevention of numerous chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease (CVD). There is mounting epidemiological evidence suggesting that vitamin D deficiency is linked to increased CVD risk. However, the results of previous vitamin D supplementation trials have yielded mixed results in regards to cardiovascular health, and the results of ongoing large-scale randomized controlled trials are not yet available. Further complicating the issue, calcium supplementation, which is often prescribed concurrently with vitamin D, has been associated with increased CVD risk in some (but not all) studies. Thus, it is currently unclear whether vitamin D supplements, particularly for those that are deficient, can help prevent the development of CVD. In addition, there has not been uniform consensus regarding the threshold of 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels that constitutes “sufficiency” across organizational guidelines. This review will provide an update on the most recent evidence regarding the effects of vitamin D and calcium supplements on CVD clinical outcomes, summarize ongoing vitamin D trials, and discuss the current but remarkably disparate recommendations regarding vitamin D deficiency screening and supplementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5
JournalCurrent atherosclerosis reports
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Keywords

  • Calcium
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Prevention
  • Supplementation
  • Vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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