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Vitamin D Reduces Heart Disease Risk Factors  


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22/05/2020 8:38 pm  


By Greg Arnold, DC, CSCS, February 18, 2010, abstracted from “Levels of vitamin D and cardiometabolic disorders: Systematic review and meta-analysis” in the 2010 issue of Maturitas

The term "cardiometabolic disorders" has recently been coined to encompass three different diseases: cardiovascular disease (costing $475.3 billion per year to treat) (1), type 2 diabetes (costing $174 billion) (2), and metabolic syndrome, which affects 1 in 4 Americans, increases medical costs per patient by 20% (3), and is "the costliest condition you've never heard of" (4)).

With a total cost to our healthcare system of nearly three-quarters of a trillion dollars per year, it is paramount to find ways to decrease risk factors for cardiometabolic disorders. Now a new study (5) has found that keeping vitamin D bloods at healthy levels can significantly improve heart health.

In the study, researchers conducted a review of published medical literature concerning vitamin D blood levels and the risk of cardiometabolic diseases. They identified 28 studies consisting of 99,745 patients. They found that vitamin D plays a significant role in heart health. The highest blood levels of vitamin D (more than 29.2 nanograms/millilter) were shown to reduce cardiometabolic risk factors by 43%, compared to the lowest vitamin D blood levels (less than 17.8 ng/mL). When they separated the risk reductions by each condition, it translated to a 33% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, 55% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, and 51% reduced risk of metabolic syndrome.

When attempting to explain the health-promoting effects of vitamin D, the researchers pointed to how "low levels of vitamin D may result in higher vascular calcification", how vitamin D can help maintain healthy levels of inflammation by controlling levels of proteins called
cytokines, and how vitamin D can help maintain healthy blood pressure levels (6).

The researchers concluded that "High levels of vitamin D among middle-age and elderly populations are associated with a substantial decrease in cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome". They then recommended that "If the relationship proves to be causal, interventions targeting vitamin D deficiency in adult populations could potentially slow the current epidemics of cardiometabolic disorders."

When it comes to vitamin D supplementation to produce optimal vitamin D blood levels, previous research has suggested it would between 2,000 and 4,000 IU/day since 2,000 IU/day produces vitamin D blood levels of 20 ng/mL and 4,000 IU/day produces levels of 40 ng/mL) (7).

Greg Arnold is a Chiropractic Physician practicing in Danville, CA. You can contact Dr. Arnold directly by emailing him at mailto:[email protected] or visiting his web site at


1. “Cardiovascular Disease Cost” posted on
2. “Number of People with Diabetes Continues to Increase” from the CDC Website
3. Curtis LH. Costs of the Metabolic Syndrome in Elderly Individuals Findings from the Cardiovascular Health Study. Diabetes Care October 2007 vol. 30 no. 10 2553-2558
4. “The Costliest Condition You’ve Never Heard Of” posted on
5. Parker J. Levels of vitamin D and cardiometabolic disorders: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Maturitas 2010; 65(3): 225-236
6. E. Giovannucci, Vitamin D and cardiovascular disease, Curr Atheroscler Rep 2009; 11: 456–461
7. Garland CF. Symposium in Print on the Epidemiology of Vitamin D and Cancer. Annals of Epidemiology. In Press Corrected Proof , Available online 03 April 2009 DOI: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2009.02.002

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