High Dose Vitamin D Supplement May Reduce Arterial Stiffness
Arterial stiffness is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of death in the United States. A recent study suggests that taking a high dose of vitamin D may help reduce arterial stiffness by up to 10.4%.
Participants in the study included 70 overweight or obese African Americans between the ages of 13 and 45. The study population was chosen because previous research has found that African Americans tend to have higher rates of cardiovascular disease, lower vitamin D levels and greater arterial stiffness compared to Caucasians.
The participants were given either a placebo or a daily dose of 600, 2000, or 4000 IU per day of vitamin D3 for 6 weeks. All of the participants were vitamin D deficient at the beginning of the study, with blood levels below 50 naomoles per liter. The researchers used Pulse Wave Velocity from the carotid artery of the neck to the femoral artery to measure arterial stiffness.
At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted a 2% decrease in arterial stiffness in the 2000 IU per day group, a 0.1% increase in arterial stiffness in the 600 IU per day group, and a 2% increase in stiffness in the placebo group. The highest dosage group, 4000 IU per day, showed a 10.4% reduction in arterial stiffness.
Researchers from Augusta University conducted the study. It was published on December 7, 2017, in PLoS One.
Previous studies have associated vitamin D with improved lipid profiles in diabetics, lower risk of asthma and allergies in children, reducing the risk of skin damage, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, combating diabetes, lower risk of cognitive decline, and improving age-related macular degeneration.
Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age. A high-quality vitamin D supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.