Effect of a single, oral, high-dose vitamin D supplementation on endothelial function in patients with peripheral arterial disease: a randomised controlled pilot study

H Stricker, F Tosi Bianda, S Guidicelli-Nicolosi, C Limoni, G Colucci
European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery 2012, 44 (3): 307-12

OBJECTIVE: Apart from its role in bone metabolism, vitamin D may also influence cardiovascular disease. The objective of this study was: (1) to determine the effect of a single, oral, high-dose vitamin D supplementation on endothelial function and arterial stiffness in patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and (2) to investigate the impact of this supplementation on coagulation and inflammation parameters.

METHODS: In this double-blind, placebo-controlled, interventional pilot study, we screened 76 Caucasian patients with PAD for vitamin D deficiency. Sixty-two were randomised to receive a single, oral supplementation of 100,000 IU vitamin D3 or placebo. At baseline and after 1 month, we measured serum vitamin D and parathormone levels, and surrogate parameters for cardiovascular disease.

RESULTS: Sixty-five of 76 patients (86%) had low 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels (<30 ng ml(-1)); of those, 62 agreed to participate in the study. At baseline, only parathormone was related to vitamin D. In supplemented patients, vitamin D levels increased from 16.3 ± 6.7 to 24.3 ± 6.2 ng ml(-1) (P < 0.001), with wide variations between single patients; in the placebo group vitamin levels did not change. Seasonal factors accounted for a decrease of vitamin D levels by 8 ng ml(-1) between summer and winter. After 1 month, none of the measured parameters was influenced by vitamin substitution.

CONCLUSION: In this pilot study, most patients with PAD were vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D supplementation increased serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D without influencing endothelial function, arterial stiffness, coagulation and inflammation parameters, although the study was underpowered for definite conclusions.

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