Vitamin D, phosphate, and vasculotoxicity

Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2015 Dec;93(12):1077-82. doi: 10.1139/cjpp-2015-0083.


Vascular calcification is a complex process that results in the ectopic deposition of calcium-phosphate hydroxyapatite. Medial and intimal vascular calcification is frequently present in patients with diabetes mellitus and chronic kidney disease (CKD), and markedly increases the morbidity and mortality of these patients. Increased serum levels of calcium and phosphate, along with the use of active vitamin D metabolites, are commonly implicated in the evolvement of vascular wall mineralization in CKD patients. Because CKD patients have lower serum levels of vitamin D, they are routinely prescribed vitamin D supplements that exert a dualistic role that is both healthful and harmful in these patients, perhaps protecting bone health, but at the expense of promoting vascular pathology. This review briefly explains how reducing the phosphate burden in CKD patients could minimize vitamin-D-associated vascular wall calcification.

Keywords: blood vessels; calcification; phosphate; vaisseaux sanguins.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Phosphates / adverse effects*
  • Phosphates / metabolism
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / metabolism
  • Vascular Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Vitamin D / adverse effects*
  • Vitamin D / metabolism


  • Phosphates
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium