The prestigious journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology recently published a study proclaiming vitamin D doesn’t lower cholesterol. Many in the medical establishment are saying this proves vitamin D doesn’t prevent cardiovascular disease. But there are problems with this. Let me explain.
The study looked at 151 participants between the ages of 18 and 85. All of them had a vitamin D deficiency (a serum 25(OH)D level less than 20 ng/mL) and at least one cardiovascular risk factor. The researchers randomized the participants to take either 50,000 IU of vitamin D3 weekly or a placebo.
After eight weeks, the researchers found that the large dose of vitamin D3 did raise the participants’ blood levels of vitamin D to 30 ng/mL. But the higher blood levels had no effect on the participants LDL cholesterol levels. Some of the participants even saw their LDL levels go up slightly.
So what’s going on? Why does this study suggest vitamin D doesn’t lower LDL?
First of all, this study was very poorly done. While conventional medicine recognizes 30 ng/mL as a healthy level of vitamin D, it’s not. It’s still a very deficient level. The 20 ng/mL level is extremely deficient. In fact, it’s likely 30 ng/mL is not enough vitamin D in your body to slow worsening LDL levels. It’s certainly not enough to prevent heart disease. This is probably why some of the participants saw their LDL levels worsen.
It takes a blood level of at least 50 ng/mL to approach healthy levels (60-70 ng/mL is better). Is this high enough to lower LDL levels? We don’t know. But I don’t think it matters. Cholesterol isn’t the health problem everyone thinks it is. I’ve repeatedly explained that your body needs cholesterol. Your brain requires cholesterol to function properly. And high cholesterol (except for oxidized LDL) doesn’t cause cardiovascular disease. So if vitamin D doesn’t lower cholesterol, it really doesn’t matter. It may be a good thing it doesn’t.
So there’s a big difference between lowering cholesterol and fighting cardiovascular disease. Other studies prove that vitamin D does in fact reduce your risk of death from cardiovascular disease. One study in particular looked at 27,000 people over age 50. Those with very low levels of vitamin D were 77% more likely to die of heart disease and 78% more likely to die of strokes.
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To really protect against heart disease, you need to have vitamin D levels over 50 ng/mL. If your levels are under 20 ng/mL like the participants in this study, it will take longer than eight weeks to reach truly healthy levels. It will likely take three to six months of taking 5,000 IU daily. So give it time.
Once again, we see bad science and an improper reaction to bad science from the medical community. Don’t listen to this nonsense. Make sure you’re taking plenty of vitamin D every day. You can order a high-quality vitamin D product by following this link.
If you really think you need to lower your cholesterol, and you’ve already tried diet and exercise, it may be time to try Advanced Cholesterol Formula. But make sure you take it for three to six months before deciding whether or not it works.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand
Neale, Todd. “Vitamin D Fails to Lower Cholesterol,” MedPage Today, September 04, 2012.
Ponda M, et al “The short-term effects of vitamin D repletion on cholesterol: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial,” Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2012; DOI: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.112.254110.