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Observational and randomized, controlled studies have produced conflicting results regarding the effects of vitamin D supplements and calcium supplements on cardiovascular health, and this review provides a detailed discussion of the current evidence with recommendations for using supplements appropriately.
The review provides important information about supplements that are commonly used to help clinicians provide up-to-date, evidence-based guidance to patients to aid in making wise choices regarding vitamin D and calcium supplementation, including consideration of potential cardiovascular harm associated with calcium supplementation.
This abstract is available on the publisher's site.
Vitamin D and calcium supplements are commonly used, often together, to optimize bone health. Multiple observational studies have linked low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations with increased cardiovascular risk. However, subsequent randomized controlled trials (RCTs) failed to demonstrate cardiovascular benefit with vitamin D supplementation. Although vitamin D supplements do not appear to be harmful for cardiovascular health, the lack of benefit in RCTs should discourage their use for this purpose, favoring optimizing vitamin D status through healthy lifestyles such as specific foods and modest sunlight exposure. Furthermore, some (but not all) observational and RCT studies of calcium supplementation have suggested potential for cardiovascular harm. Therefore, calcium supplementation should be used cautiously, striving for recommended intake of calcium predominantly from food sources. In this review, the authors examine the currently available evidence investigating whether vitamin D and calcium supplements are helpful, harmful, or neutral for cardiovascular health.