Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Too Much Of A Good Thing? A Closer Look At Vitamin D
Those of you on the vitamin D bandwagon should take note of a new study showing that too can lead to increased cardiovascular inflammation. “People should have their D levels tested before taking vitamin D supplements and tested again a few times a year if they stay on them", says Muhammad Amer, MD, an assistant professor of internal medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “They should not be ignoring the fact that D is a steroid-like hormone and may be harmful at some level.”
I’ve posted on the potential pitfalls of randomly jacking your diet with vitamin D a couple times recently. Most of us who spend time outdoors have no need to supplement it. However, as per usual in the supplement industry, there’s always something trendy that everyone’s recommending. And while the theoretical downside of overdosing D has been known, until now there’s hasn’t been much quantifiable data that it was a realistic possibility.
A study published in the American Journal of Cardiology in January has changed this. It looked at 15,000 healthy adults age 18 to 85 and found that, while increasing levels of D in the blood are associated with decreased cardiovascular inflammation to a point, once D levels go beyond that point, inflammatory markers actually begin to rise.
New Hope 360 reports:
This indicates a growing risk of stiffening blood vessels and other cardiovascular problems. This latest research is among several new studies that suggest, as Virginia Moyer, MD, chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, recently put it: “The nutrient falls into the category of something that both benefits and harms.”
They follow the news with an interview with Dr. Amer, the study's lead author. Click on the quote to read the entire article,
Vitamin D is beneficial for your cardiovascular health because it curbs inflammation, which is an underlying reason for atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). You should be on it if you are a candidate (because your D levels are low), but you should not keep on taking it indefinitely without keeping track of your levels. Again, at certain levels in the blood, vitamin D may become pro-inflammatory. If you can be on vitamin D rather than being on expensive statin drugs that compromise your kidney, liver and muscle, why not? It can definitely benefit you—it just has to be used judiciously.