Are statins analogues of vitamin D?

Lancet. 2006 Jul 1;368(9529):83-6. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(06)68971-X.


There are many reasons why the dietary-heart-cholesterol hypothesis should be questioned, and why statins might be acting in some other way to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Here, I propose that rather than being cholesterol-lowering drugs per se, statins act as vitamin D analogues, and explain why. This proposition is based on published observations that the unexpected and unexplained clinical benefits produced by statins have also been shown to be properties of vitamin D. It seems likely that statins activate vitamin D receptors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Coronary Disease / prevention & control*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors* / pharmacology
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors* / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / drug effects*
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / physiology


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Receptors, Calcitriol
  • Vitamin D
  • Cholesterol