The role of vitamin D in the regulation of bone metabolism has been well established. However, in recent years, many studies have demonstrated that its role extends far beyond bone health. Growing evidence has shown a strong association between vitamin D deficiency and hypertension, metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus and atherosclerosis. The mechanisms by which vitamin D exerts its cardiovascular protective effects are still not completely understood, but there is evidence that it participates in the regulation of renin-angiotensin system and the mechanisms of insulin sensitivity and activity of inflammatory cytokines, besides its direct cardiovascular actions. In this review, several studies linking vitamin D deficiency with cardiometabolic risk as well as small randomized trials that have evaluated the cardiovascular effects of its supplementation are presented. However, large randomized placebo-controlled studies are still needed before we can definitively establish the role of vitamin D supplementation in the prevention and control of cardiovascular disease.
Keywords: Atherosclerosis; Cardiometabolic risk; Cardiovascular disease; Risk factor; Supplementation; Vitamin D deficiency.