High-Dose Vitamin D: Does It Prevent Cardiovascular Disease?

Monthly high-dose vitamin D supplementation does not prevent CVD
Monthly high-dose vitamin D supplementation does not prevent CVD

(HealthDay News) — Taking high doses of vitamin D once a month won't lower the risk for cardiovascular disease, according to a study published online April 5 in JAMA Cardiology.

The researchers behind the new study tracked the cardiovascular health of 5,108 adults. All participants were between 50 and 84 years old. About one-quarter were vitamin D deficient at the start of the trial -- registering vitamin D levels of less than 20 ng/mL. Half were assigned to receive a high-dose vitamin D supplement once a month, with an initial dose of 200,000 IUs. That was followed by a regular monthly dose of 100,000 IUs. The other half received a monthly regimen of placebo supplements. The participants continued this regimen for more than three years, on average.

The investigators found that nearly 12 percent of both groups had developed some form of cardiovascular disease. The risk for developing hypertension and/or experiencing myocardial infarction, stroke, heart failure, or angina was similar whether or not a participant had begun the study deficient in vitamin D.

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"Monthly high-dose vitamin D supplementation does not prevent cardiovascular disease," the authors write. "This result does not support the use of monthly vitamin D supplementation for this purpose. The effects of daily or weekly dosing require further study."

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