Too much vitamin D linked to heart risk

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Johns Hopkins: Too much vitamin D may pose risks to heart health, finds study
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Vitamin D is shown in studies to help curb heart disease, but a new study links higher levels the vitamin to blood vessel inflammation that can lead to heart disease.

Johns Hopkins researchers found when vitamin D levels in the bloodstream are higher than the "low-end of normal", the inflammatory biomarker - CRP (C-reactive protein) - increases. Elevated CRP level is commonly associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

Muhammad Amer, M.D., an assistant professor in the division of general internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and colleagues looked at data from more than 15,000 adults, who were involved in the continuous National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey,

But in this study, the Hopkins researchers found levels of the so called sunshine vitamin that are considered the lower end of normal – 21 nanograms per milliliter of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D – was associated with increased inflammation that could lead to unhealthy blood vessels from high CRP levels.

Higher levels of vitamin D were found to be associated with even higher levels of CRP.

Amer says, “Clearly vitamin D is important for your heart health, especially if you have low blood levels of vitamin D. It reduces cardiovascular inflammation and atherosclerosis, and may reduce mortality, but it appears that at some point it can be too much of a good thing.”

The finding, which appears in the Jan.15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology, suggests it may be important to use vitamin D supplements judiciously. The study found too much Vitamin D – levels that are higher than what is currently considered normal, may pose risks for inflammation that can lead to heart disease or heart attack.

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Vitamin D is shown in studies to help curb heart disease, but a new study links higher levels the vitamin to blood vessel inflammation that can lead to heart disease.

Johns Hopkins researchers found when vitamin D levels in the bloodstream are higher than the "low-end of normal", the inflammatory biomarker - CRP (C-reactive protein) - increases. Elevated CRP level is commonly associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

Muhammad Amer, M.D., an assistant professor in the division of general internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and colleagues looked at data from more than 15,000 adults, who were involved in the continuous National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey,

But in this study, the Hopkins researchers found levels of the so called sunshine vitamin that are considered the lower end of normal – 21 nanograms per milliliter of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D – was associated with increased inflammation that could lead to unhealthy blood vessels from high CRP levels.

Higher levels of vitamin D were found to be associated with even higher levels of CRP.

Amer says, “Clearly vitamin D is important for your heart health, especially if you have low blood levels of vitamin D. It reduces cardiovascular inflammation and atherosclerosis, and may reduce mortality, but it appears that at some point it can be too much of a good thing.”

The finding, which appears in the Jan.15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology, suggests it may be important to use vitamin D supplements judiciously. The study found too much Vitamin D – levels that are higher than what is currently considered normal, may pose risks for inflammation that can lead to heart disease or heart attack. A recent study also found too much vitamin D was linked to increased risk for atrial fibrillation - a heart rhythm disturbance that is common.

The American Journal of Cardiology
“Relation Between Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and C-Reactive Protein in Asymptomatic Adults (From the Continuous National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001 to 2006)”
Muhammad Amer et al.
Published online October, 2011

Image credit: Morguefile

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