Vitamin D supplement fails to lower cholesterol in short term

September 4, 2012

Taking vitamin D supplements to compensate for vitamin D deficiency didn't improve cholesterol—at least in the short term, according to new research in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, an American Heart Association journal.

Researchers studied 151 people with who received either a mega-dose (50,000 internationals units) of or placebo weekly for eight weeks. Participants' cholesterol levels were measured before and after treatment.

Correcting vitamin D deficiencies with high doses of oral vitamin D supplements did not change cholesterol levels, researchers found. This was despite effectively increasing vitamin D to recommended levels. Vitamin D levels nearly tripled in the group that received actual supplements, but were unchanged in the .

"Our study challenges the notion that vitamin D repletion improves " said Manish Ponda, M.D., M.S., study lead author and assistant professor of clinical investigation in Dr. Jan Breslow's laboratory of biochemical genetics and metabolism at The Rockefeller University in New York, N.Y. "These clinical trial results confirm those from a recent data mining study."

The researchers also tested the effect of vitamin D supplementation on more sophisticated biomarker measures of cholesterol, such as particle size and number. "These measures of cholesterol, which are not used in routine clinical practice, also did not change in response to vitamin D therapy," Ponda said.

As expected, replenishing subjects with high-dose supplements of oral vitamin D decreased parathyroid hormone levels and increased —physical functional changes that were linked to participants' increase in low-density lipoprotein (LDL, ).

"For example, participants receiving vitamin D who had an increase in calcium levels experienced a 7 percent increase in LDL cholesterol, while those whose calcium levels fell or did not change had a 5 percent decrease in LDL cholesterol," Ponda said.

The study questions the use of vitamin D supplements to improve cholesterol, Ponda said. While the dose of vitamin D in this study was high, it was appropriate for correcting a vitamin D deficiency over an eight week period.

However, longer-term studies on the impact of the changes in LDL cholesterol as a result of high dose vitamin D supplementation are needed to make stronger recommendations. And questions remain about whether increasing vitamin D levels with exposure to sunlight, the predominant natural source, would have a different effect than with high-dose oral supplements.

To address these issues, Ponda and Breslow will begin another clinical trial this fall, comparing the effect of oral vitamin D to ultraviolet light exposure with a longer follow-up period.

Explore further: Vitamin D-fortified yoghurt improves cholesterol levels and heart disease biomarkers for diabetics

Related Stories

Vitamin D-fortified yoghurt improves cholesterol levels and heart disease biomarkers for diabetics

November 24, 2011
People with diabetes are known to have an increased risk of heart disease. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Medicine shows that regular consumption of a vitamin D-fortified yoghurt drink ...

High-dose vitamin D may not be better than low-dose vitamin D in treating MS

October 24, 2011
Low vitamin D levels are associated with an increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS), but the first randomized, controlled trial using high-dose vitamin D in MS did not find any added benefit over and above ongoing ...

Vitamin D with calcium shown to reduce mortality in elderly

June 15, 2012
A study recently published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM) suggests that vitamin D—when taken with calcium—can reduce the rate of mortality in seniors, therefore ...

Recommended for you

Laser device placed on the heart identifies insufficient oxygenation better than other measures

September 20, 2017
A new device can assess in real time whether the body's tissues are receiving enough oxygen and, placed on the heart, can predict cardiac arrest in critically ill heart patients, report researchers at Boston Children's Hospital ...

Metabolism switch signals end for healing hearts

September 19, 2017
Researchers have identified the process that shuts down the human heart's ability to heal itself, and are now searching for a drug to reverse it.

Beta blockers not needed after heart attack if other medications taken

September 18, 2017
A new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill finds beta blockers are not needed after a heart attack if heart-attack survivors are taking ACE inhibitors and statins. The study is the first to challenge ...

Which single behavior best prevents high blood pressure?

September 15, 2017
(HealthDay)—You probably already know that certain healthy lifestyle behaviors can reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure, but is any one behavior more important than the others?

RESPECT trial shows closing a small hole in heart may protect against recurrent stroke

September 13, 2017
A device used to close a small hole in the heart may benefit certain stroke patients by providing an extra layer of protection for those facing years of ongoing stroke risk, according to the results of a large clinical trial ...

Study shows so-called 'healthy obesity' is harmful to cardiovascular health

September 11, 2017
Clinicians are being warned not to ignore the increased cardiovascular health risks of those who are classed as either 'healthy obese' or deemed to be 'normal weight' but have metabolic abnormalities such as diabetes.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.