Vitamin D deficiency is a known risk factor for osteoporosis, cancer, type 1 diabetes and hypertension. Although strongly hypothesized, a direct association between vitamin D deficiency and ischemic (a decrease in the blood supply to a bodily organ, tissue, or part caused by constriction or obstruction of the blood vessels) heart disease (IHD) has not been confirmed.
Researchers in Belgium conducted a study on 170 Bangladeshi adults aged 35-65 to compare serum vitamin D levels with multiple blood-lipid risk factors. Study participants were free of known diabetes, IHD and other cardiovascular disease.
Multiple regression analysis showed serum
vitamin D levels to be an independent precursor of apolipoprotein A-1 levels. This analysis did not find a direct relationship between vitamin D levels and the other tested lipid markers.
Increased apolipoprotein A-1 levels are thought to protect against ischemic heart disease. The results of this study indicate increased serum levels of vitamin D are associated with increased apolipoprotein A-1. The authors conclude “Subjects with hypovitaminosis D (low vitamin D levels) are likely to have in increased risk of ischemic heart disease independent of their increased risk of type 2 diabetes”.
WG John, K Noonan et al., "Hypovitaminosis D is associated with reductions in serum apolipoprotein A-1 but not with fasting lipids in British Bangladeshis", Am J Clin Nutr.,2005;82:517-22. http://www.ajcn.org/