Purpose of review: To provide an overview of the association between vitamin D deficiency and atherosclerosis.
Recent findings: Vitamin D exerts protective effects on atherosclerosis through multiple mechanisms. It has been shown to protect against endothelial dysfunction, vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation and migration, and modulation of the immune system, as well as the inflammatory response. In addition, vitamin D has been shown to have systemic effects on insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and hypertension.
Summary: Vitamin D deficiency is widely prevalent in the United States and worldwide. Although deficiency of this fat-soluble vitamin is usually associated with musculoskeletal disorder, it is associated with a wide range of disease processes that include multiple organ systems. Recently, there has been mounting evidence linking vitamin D deficiency to cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis.