Vitamin D and Cardiovascular Disease


There has been a significant amount of research about the benefits of vitamin D on cardiovascular disease.

  • Vitamin D deficiency is a common medical problem  and its prevalence rises along with patient obesity, sedentary lifestyle, limited sunlight exposure and aging.
  • A great body of evidence has shown that patients with vitamin D deficiency have increased cardiovascular risks  and the catch-22 circumstance begins as abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and hypertension places the patients at an increased risk of vitamin D deficiency.1

Some of the larger studies suggested that patients who raised their vitamin D levels were less likely to have a heart attack and develop heart failure. In the most recent study published in the medical journal Lancet, researchers suggest that low levels of vitamin D may be a cause high blood pressure. 2 

So while doctors agree that Vitamin D deficiency has been linked with hypertension, myocardial infarction, and stroke, as well as other cardiovascular-related diseases, such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, atherosclerosis, and endothelial dysfunction, 3  yet despite this knowledge the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in the general population remains alarming and requires implementation of clear supplementation guidelines.4 Mainly because vitamin D deficiency is associated with a significant risk of cardiovascular disease and reduced survival. While Vitamin D supplementation was significantly associated with better survival, specifically in patients with documented deficiency,5 and in reducing inflammation and cardiovascular risk.6

Monitoring and adjusting Vitamin D deficiency is an important part of our practice, not only for our cardiovascular patients but also for diabetes, vision problems, multiple sclerosis and general wellness.

We also see what researchers have noted that women who have type 2 diabetes and show signs of depression, vitamin D supplements significantly lowered blood pressure and improved their moods.7

1. Matyjaszek-Matuszek B1, Lenart-Lipińska M2, Woźniakowska E3. Clinical implications of vitamin D deficiency. Prz Menopauzalny. 2015 Jun;14(2):75-81. doi: 10.5114/pm.2015.52149. Epub 2015 Jun 22.  [Pubmed Clinical implications of vitamin D deficiency]

2. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, news release, June 25, 2014

3. McGreevy C, Williams D. New insights about vitamin d and cardiovascular disease: a narrative review. Ann Intern Med. 2011 Dec 20;155(12):820-6.  [Pubmed Clinical implications of vitamin D deficiency]

4. Van der Schueren BJ, Verstuyf A, Mathieu C. Curr Opin Lipidol. 2011 Nov 24. Straight from D-Heart: vitamin D status and cardiovascular disease.

5. Vacek JL, Vanga SR, Good M, Lai SM, Lakkireddy D, Howard PA. Vitamin D Deficiency and Supplementation and Relation to Cardiovascular Health. Am J Cardiol. 2011 Nov 7. [Epub ahead of print]

6. Gupta GK, Agrawal T, Delcore MG, Mohiuddin SM, Agrawal DK. Vitamin D deficiency induces cardiac hypertrophy and inflammation in epicardial adipose tissue in hypercholesterolemic swine. Exp Mol Pathol. 2012 Apr 17;93(1):82-90. [Epub ahead of print]

7.  Pilot study at Loyola University Chicago Niehoff School of Nursing.Vitamin D even helped the women lose a few pounds. Presented at the American Diabetes Association 73rd Scientific Sessions in Chicago.