Vitamin D plays an important role in maintaining strong bones. Observational studies have also suggested that vitamin D plays an important role in heart health. And now, a new study published in the journal Menopause, found that vitamin D may reduce levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol.
Researchers from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia led by Dr. Peter F. Schnatz, a professor of internal medicine, followed 576 postmenopausal women for three years. The women were randomized into two groups: one group took a daily dose of 400 units of Vitamin D and 1000mg of calcium, while the control group was given a placebo. After controlling for initial vitamin D levels, smoking, alcohol consumption and other variables, researchers found that at the end of the three-year period, those women taking vitamin D had higher serum levels of vitamin D no surprise as well as a small drop in LDL levels, amounting to approximately a 4-5 percent decrease. However, researchers point out that the sample was small and no conclusions about the effect of vitamin D on cardiovascular health should be drawn from their findings.
ACSH s Dr. Elizabeth Whelan commented, Vitamin D seems to be the new miracle supplement. While it may well be useful for lowering LDL cholesterol, those results should be independently replicated. Further, consumers should be aware that it is possible to overdose on vitamin D, and make sure to keep intake within reasonable boundaries.