Vitamin D supplementation improves cytokine profiles in patients with congestive heart failure: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial

Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Apr;83(4):754-9. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/83.4.754.


Background: Elevated circulating concentrations of proinflammatory cytokines may contribute to the pathogenesis of congestive heart failure (CHF). In vitro studies suggest that vitamin D suppresses proinflammatory cytokines and increases antiinflammatory cytokines.

Objective: We evaluated the effect of vitamin D supplementation on the survival rate and different biochemical variables in patients with CHF.

Design: One hundred twenty-three patients randomly received either 50 mug vitamin D(3)/d plus 500 mg Ca/d [D(+) group] or placebo plus 500 mg Ca/d [D(-) group] for 9 mo. Biochemical variables were assessed at baseline and after 9 mo. The survival rate was calculated for a follow-up period of 15 mo.

Results: Ninety-three patients completed the study. Significant treatment effects were observed on logarithmic-transformed serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (P = 0.001), parathyroid hormone (P = 0.007), tumor necrosis factor alpha (P = 0.006), and interleukin 10 (P = 0.042). 25-Hydroxyvitamin D increased by 26.8 ng/mL in the D(+) group but increased only by 3.6 ng/mL in the D(-) group. Compared with baseline, parathyroid hormone was significantly lower and the antiinflammatory cytokine interleukin 10 was significantly higher in the D(+) group after 9 mo. The proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha increased in the D(-) group but remained constant in the D(+) group. The survival rate did not differ significantly between the study groups during the follow-up period.

Conclusions: Vitamin D(3) reduces the inflammatory milieu in CHF patients and might serve as a new antiinflammatory agent for the future treatment of the disease. Our data provide evidence for the involvement of an impaired vitamin D-parathyroid hormone axis in the progression of CHF.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Disease Progression
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / blood*
  • Heart Failure / mortality
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-10 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-10 / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood*
  • Survival Rate
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism*
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamins / blood


  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Vitamins
  • Interleukin-10
  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D