News

Vitamin D may benefit blood lipids

March 5, 2012

Daily supplementation of vitamin D3 may decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases by improving the lipid profile of the blood and reducing the body fat mass in overweight and obese women, suggests a new Iranian study.

In the randomized controlled trial, 77 overweight and obese women with an average age of 38 were randomly assigned to receive either a daily vitamin D3 dose of 1,000 International Units (25 micrograms) or placebo for 12 weeks (1). An analysis of blood samples showed that HDL - cholesterol levels increased in the vitamin D group, but decreased in the placebo group. Total LDL - cholesterol concentrations were high in both groups, but in the vitamin group, LDL-cholesterol particles have less atherosclerosis promoting properties. In addition, vitamin D supple-mentation was associated with a significant reduction in body fat mass, compared with placebo.

Past studies have found high rates of vitamin D deficiency in obese populations and have linked low vitamin D levels to cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes (2). However, the mechanisms by which obesity and its related illnesses are connected to vitamin D deficiency are not fully known.

References

  1. Salehpour A. et al. Vitamin D3 and the risk of CVD in overweight and obese women: a randomised controlled trial. Br J Nutr. Published online February 2012.
  2. Olson M. L. et al. Vitamin D deficiency in obese children and its relationship to glucose homeostasis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. Published online November 2011.