24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
Fax: (361)578-5500

Medical Disorders
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Your Noisy Knees May Be Trying to Tell You SomethingHealth Tip: 10 Ways to Reduce Injury RiskIs That Statin Doing You Any Good?Surgery Helps Tough-to-Treat Acid RefluxBrain Damage From Concussion Evident a Year LaterFor Kids With Genetic Condition, Statins May Be LifesaversNext-Gen Artificial Pancreas Boosts Blood Sugar ControlAHA News: Lowering Blood Pressure May Prevent New Brain Lesions in Older PeopleBladder Drug Can Cause Eye Damage: StudyGood News, Bad News on Concussions in High School SportsSteroid Shots for Painful Joints May Make Matters WorseHealth Tip: Broken Toe CareSleep Apnea Linked to Diabetic Eye DiseaseChildhood Risk Factors Can Predict Adult ObesityHealth Tip: Gum Disease Risk FactorsPut Safety First When Planning to Pack Food-to-GoA Parent's Guide to Managing Kids' Asthma During the FallWhat Foods Are Most Likely to Cause Acne Breakouts?Vision Problems Strike More Than 2 Billion GloballyLight Smoking Causes More Lung Damage Than Once Suspected: StudyHealth Tip: Choking First AidBy Mid-Century, Heat Waves Could Cover Far Bigger AreasGet Vaccinated Before Flu Takes Hold: CDCClose to 1,300 Cases of Vaping-Linked Illness Now IdentifiedMore Years of Football, Higher Odds for Brain Disease LaterPain Relief: When to Use Cold, When to Use HeatAHA News: High Triglycerides Caused a Diet Change – at Age 10Humans May Possess Ability to Regrow CartilageHealth Tip: Recognizing Bedbug Bites'Smartphone Slouching' More Serious Than It SoundsAHA News: What's Your Sense of Purpose? The Answer May Affect Your HealthDeep Brain Stimulation May Relieve Ringing in the Ears: StudyWhat Are the Risks of Pain Relief Alternatives to Opioids?Many ICU Admissions May Be Preventable, Large Study SuggestsCause of Paralyzing Illness in Kids Remains ElusiveFlu Season Is Coming: Here's How to Protect YourselfSinus Infections: What You Need to KnowFewer Teeth, Higher Risk of Heart Disease?Fungal Invasion May Drive Some Pancreatic CancersHealth Tip: Lowering Your Resting Heart RateYour Washer Might Be Breeding Drug-Resistant GermsCan Your Eating Habits Keep Alzheimer's at Bay?Prescription Opioids Linked to Poor Outcomes in Kidney PatientsCases of Serious Vaping-Linked Lung Injury Now Top 1,000Organic Chicken Less Likely to Harbor a Dangerous 'Superbug'Running the Numbers on High Blood PressureIs Partial Hip Replacement Often the Better Option?'Toxic Fumes' May Be Driving Vaping-Linked Lung IllnessesDitch the Itch: Researchers Find New Drug to Fight Hives'Nerve-Release' Surgery Helped Ease One Man's Tough Migraines
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics


Vitamin D Supplements May Not Help Your Heart

HealthDay News
by By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Jun 19th 2019

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, June 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you're looking to improve your heart health, getting regular exercise and eating healthy foods can definitely help, but new research says popping a daily vitamin D supplement won't.

The research -- a meta-analysis of 21 randomized clinical trials involving more than 83,000 people -- found no decrease in major cardiovascular events in people taking vitamin D supplements. There was also no drop in heart attack rates. No drop in stroke. No drop in death from any cause.

"Vitamin D supplementation didn't show any cardiovascular benefit," said the study's lead author, Dr. Mahmoud Barbarawi. He's chief resident in the department of internal medicine at Hurley Medical Center at Michigan State University in Flint.

"There are a lot of things people can do to lower cardiovascular risk -- doing regular exercise, healthy eating, stopping smoking, and controlling hypertension [high blood pressure] and diabetes. But giving vitamin D supplements for the sake of lowering cardiovascular risk is not recommended," Barbarawi said.

Previous studies had reported that people who had experienced a heart attack, stroke, heart failure and death from heart disease also had low vitamin D levels. The researchers said there are plausible biological reasons to believe that vitamin D levels might influence heart and blood vessel health. For example, some muscles in the blood vessels have receptors for vitamin D, the researchers noted.

To get a clear idea of how much vitamin D might help protect the heart, the investigators reviewed nearly two dozen randomized clinical trials. More than 41,000 people in these trials took vitamin D supplements, and another 41,000 took an inactive placebo.

The average age of the study participants was 66, and three-quarters of the study volunteers were women.

Vitamin D levels of the study participants varied by trial, Barbarawi said. The dose of the vitamin D supplements given also varied greatly, as did the length of the studies.

Barbarawi said the researchers were surprised to see that vitamin D supplements didn't appear to have any effect on major heart problems, stroke or death.

"We believe that low vitamin D is a marker for some sort of underlying disease, but that doesn't mean if we treat low vitamin D that it will protect the heart," he explained.

But if people are deficient in vitamin D (less than 12 ng/mL), it's still important to treat that deficiency, especially for bone health, Barbarawi added.

Findings from the study were published online June 19 in JAMA Cardiology.

Dr. Arshed Quyyumi, co-author of an editorial accompanying the study, agreed that anyone with a vitamin D deficiency should take a supplement to prevent bone-related problems.

Quyyumi also agreed that there doesn't appear to be a reason to take vitamin D supplements to prevent cardiovascular disease. He said it's likely that other factors explain the link between heart disease and vitamin D levels.

For example, Quyyumi said, it's possible that people who have sedentary lifestyles may show signs of cardiovascular disease and low vitamin D. Not only would those folks not be getting heart-healthy exercise, they also would not get the sun exposure from exercising outdoors that causes the body to produce vitamin D.

Quyyumi said if you've been taking vitamin D supplements for heart disease, there doesn't appear to be any harm from low doses. But, because there appears to be no benefit for the heart, you can save some money by skipping the supplements.

Both experts said more studies would be helpful, especially in people who have a vitamin D deficiency. Barbarawi said it would also be beneficial to have larger studies looking specifically at how differing levels of the vitamin affect race, gender and ethnicity.

More information

No matter what your age, the American Heart Association has advice on keeping your heart healthy.