Effectiveness of Vitamin D Supplementation for Cardiovascular Health OutcomesVeloudi P. · Jones G. · Sharman J.E.
Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS, Australia
Assoc. Prof. James E. Sharman
Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania
Medical Science 1 Building, Liverpool Street
Hobart, TAS 7000 (Australia)
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There is a plausible physiological theory, supported by many observational studies, that vitamin D supplementation should be effective for improving cardiovascular end points, such as blood pressure (BP), large artery stiffness, atherosclerosis, endothelial function and clinical events. However, results from randomised controlled trials (RCTs) have been inconsistent. In this review, we evaluated the evidence regarding the effectiveness of vitamin D supplementation for cardiovascular surrogate and hard clinical end points. RCTs were assessed in terms of sample size, duration of supplementation, baseline vitamin D level inclusion criteria (i.e., absence of vitamin D deficiency), dosage of vitamin D and population under investigation. Forty-five RCTs were identified. Eight RCTs with BP and 6 RCTs with large artery stiffness as the end points were found to comply with guidelines for the optimal design of clinical trials evaluating nutrient effects. Only 2 of the RCTs with an optimal design were effective in decreasing BP with vitamin D supplementation, although these were of moderate sample size (<150) and very short duration (8 weeks for both), whilst no RCT was effective in reducing large artery stiffness. Similar results were observed for atherosclerotic and endothelial function markers as end points. Only 1 RCT reported cardiovascular events as an end point and found neither increased nor decreased incident cardiovascular events over 7 years of follow-up. In conclusion, results from published RCTs indicate that vitamin D supplementation is ineffective in improving cardiovascular health among various patient populations, including in the presence or absence of vitamin D deficiency.
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