The short-term effects of vitamin D repletion on cholesterol: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial

Manish P Ponda, Kathleen Dowd, Dennis Finkielstein, Peter R Holt, Jan L Breslow
Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology 2012, 32 (10): 2510-5

OBJECTIVE: Vitamin D deficiency is common and associated with dyslipidemia. However, it is unclear whether oral vitamin D supplementation improves the lipid profile. Therefore, we conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled trial to determine the short-term effects of vitamin D repletion on the lipid profile.

METHODS AND RESULTS: One hundred fifty-one vitamin D-deficient (25-hydroxyvitamin D <20 ng/mL) adults with elevated risk for cardiovascular disease were randomized to receive either 50 000 IU of vitamin D3 weekly for 8 weeks or placebo. The primary outcome was the change in small low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particle number. Secondary outcomes included changes in other nuclear magnetic resonance-based and chemical lipid fractions. Vitamin D failed to improve the lipid profile. Compared with the placebo, vitamin D repletion did not change small LDL particle number (mean change, +18 nmol/L; 95% CI [-80 to +116 nmol/L]; P=0.63). There were also no changes in the chemical lipid profile: total cholesterol (+5.8 mg/dL, 95% CI [-1.4 to +13.0 mg/dL], P=0.14); LDL cholesterol (+3.8 mg/dL, 95% CI [-2.5 to +10.2 mg/dL], P=0.13); high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (+0.4 mg/dL 95% CI [-1.6 to +2.6 mg/dL], P=0.71); and triglycerides (+7.9 mg/dL 95% CI [-6.5 to +22.3 mg/dL]). In the vitamin D repletion group, exploratory multivariate regression analysis demonstrates that changes in LDL cholesterol were positively correlated with the changes in serum calcium (P<0.001) and inversely with the changes in serum parathyroid hormone (P=0.02).

CONCLUSIONS: In contrast to the association between low 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and dyslipidemia, correcting vitamin D deficiency in the short-term does not improve the lipid profile. Repletion of 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels raised serum calcium levels and decreased serum parathyroid hormone levels. These expected physiological responses to vitamin D therapy were correlated with a significant increase in LDL cholesterol. Clinical Trial Registration- URL: Unique identifier: NCT01008384.

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