A new study from Mexico reports that a daily dose of vitamin D seems to decrease blood triglyceride concentrations of post-menopausal women with an increased risk of heart disease.
The randomized controlled trial measured the blood lipids of 99 women with diabetes who received either vitamin D3 (4,000 IU per day) or placebo for six months (1). The study results showed that the supplementation was associated with increased blood vitamin D levels and a decrease in triglyceride levels. No significant changes were observed for cholesterol levels while a non-significant association between vitamin D supplementation and high-density lipoprotein levels was observed.
The researchers commented that multiple mechanisms could explain the relationship between vitamin D and lipid and lipoproteins concentrations. Vitamin D might increase calcium absorption, reducing fatty acids in the gut, increasing fat absorption and lowering triglyceride levels. Additionally, in subjects with low concentrations of vitamin D, elevated intakes might increase uptake of vitamin D, which has been associated with an increase in lipogenesis and lipolysis. The decrease in serum concentrations of triglycerides and total cholesterol, found in the new study, may prevent arterial thickening and narrowing, and implies a lowered risk of myocardial infarction and stroke. The scientists concluded that more clinical studies with larger sample sizes and longer terms of follow are needed to further understand the role that vitamin D supplementation plays in the prevention of dyslipidemia and other cardiovascular risk factors.