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Vitamin D Supplement Won't Help in Short Term

  By posted Sep 10th 2012


Vitamin D Supplement Won't Help in Short Term

* Text Courtesy IANS

*Images courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images

(IANS) Taking vitamin D supplements to compensate for its deficiency did not lower LDL or bad cholesterol levels -- not at least in the short term, suggests new research.

Researchers from The Rockefeller University, New York, studied 151 people with vitamin D deficiency who received either a mega-dose (50,000 internationals units) of vitamin D3 or placebo (substance containing zero medication) weekly for eight weeks. Their cholesterol levels were measured before and after treatment.

Correcting vitamin D deficiencies with high doses of oral vitamin D supplements did not change LDL levels. This was despite effectively increasing vitamin D to recommended levels, the journal "Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology" reports.

High levels of bad cholesterol or LDL begin to build up on your artery walls, along with other fats and debris. This buildup is called plaque. Over time, plaque can cause narrowing of the arteries or atherosclerosis, which is usually the precursor of heart disease.

Vitamin D levels were nearly tripled in the group that received actual supplements, but were unchanged in the placebo group, according to a Rockefeller statement.

"Our study challenges the notion that vitamin D repletion improves cholesterol levels," said Manish Ponda, assistant professor of clinical investigation in Jan Breslow's lab of biochemical genetics and metabolism at The Rockefeller.

"For example, participants receiving vitamin D who had an increase in calcium levels experienced a seven percent increase in LDL (bad) cholesterol, while those whose calcium levels fell or did not change had a five percent decrease in LDL cholesterol. These clinical trial results confirm those from a recent data mining study," Ponda, who led the study, said.



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