Vitamin D levels are associated with vascular health, according to a recently published study. Healthy circulation may be impacted by the accumulation of excess fat and lipids. Excess lipids may eventually impact the endothelial (inner) lining of the blood vessels and lead to changes in cardiovascular health and function. This can prevent optimal blood flow through the arteries.
Two hundred and three adults between the ages of 50 and 93 years old were included in this study. The subjects were evaluated for serum levels of calcium, phosphorus, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, and parathyroid hormone, which regulates calcium and vitamin D metabolism. The subjects were also evaluated for carotid arterial wall thickness and lipid accumulation.
The results of the study showed that 57 percent of the subjects had unwanted lipid accumulation in the carotid arteries. Serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D were inversely associated with both arterial wall thickness and lipid accumulation. This means that as levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D decreased, the thickness of the artery wall tissue increased. Using a model that includes traditional cardiovascular health indices and mineral metabolism, the study authors stated that serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D accounted for 13 percent of the variance in carotid arterial wall thickness. There was no association between calcium, parathyroid hormone, and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D levels and measurements of the carotid arteries.
The researchers concluded that low 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were associated with increased arterial wall thickness and excess lipid accumulation, and 25-hydroxyvitamin D contributed in a robust manner to the variance in both.