Vitamin D and cardiovascular disease: Not too little and not too much? The need for clinical trials

Michal L. Melamed, Jo Ann E. Manson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Recent attention in observational studies has focused primarily on low vitamin D as a risk factor for multiple chronic health conditions. These conditions include but are not limited to insulin resistance, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, specific cancers, and early mortality. However, results from randomized clinical trials in this area have been inconsistent. Animal studies show that vitamin D is an inhibitor of the reninangiotensin system but also that high dose vitamin D in combination with a high cholesterol diet leads to atherosclerosis. There has been little focus on potential harmful effects of high vitamin D levels including the risk of vascular calcification, hypercalcemia, and kidney stones. In this review we will detail the findings from observational studies and randomized clinical trials about potential cardiovascular risks of low vitamin D levels and potential harms of very high levels. We will also summarize on-going clinical trials evaluating whether vitamin D supplementation can protect against cardiovascular and other diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationVitamin D
Subtitle of host publicationNutrition, Side Effects and Supplements
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781617286018
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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