Vitamin D May Lower Cholesterol

Vitamin D May Lower Cholesterol

by Posted on: March 17, 2014Categories: LiveWell 24/7   

Many observational studies have suggested that vitamin D may have benefits for heart health. Now a randomized trial has found that vitamin D appears to reduce levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol.

Researchers randomly assigned 576 postmenopausal women to either a daily dose of 400 units of vitamin D and 1,000 milligrams of calcium, or a placebo. They followed them for three years.

By the end of the study, published in Menopause, the vitamin D group had significantly higher serum levels of vitamin D, and a small but notable drop in LDL.

The researchers controlled for initial vitamin D level, smoking, alcohol consumption and more than 20 other variables. They acknowledge that their sample was relatively small and that no conclusions about the effect of vitamin D on cardiovascular health should be drawn from their findings. Still, they say, their randomized, double-blind design and the use of blood tests for vitamin D levels give the study considerable strength.

“We don’t have enough here to say that we’ve figured it all out,” said the lead author, Dr. Peter F. Schnatz, a professor of internal medicine at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. The change in LDL, he said, “is significant, and in the right direction, but maybe not enough to say that we’re going to prevent people from getting heart disease.”


connect with us