Vitamin D regulates blood pressure, cardiac functions, and endothelial and smooth muscle cell functions, thus, playing an important role in cardiovascular health. Observational studies report associations between vitamin D deficiency with hypertension and cardiovascular-related deaths. Peer-reviewed papers were examined in several research databases as per the guidelines of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews, using key words that address the relationship between vitamin D and cardiovascular disease. Correlations and interpretations were made considering the risks-benefits, broader evidence, and implications. This review analyzed current knowledge regarding the effects of vitamin D on the cardiovascular system. 1,25(OH)2D and related epigenetic modifications subdue cellular inflammation, improve overall endothelial functions, reduce age-related systolic hypertension and vascular rigidity, and attenuate the actions of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. Most observational and ecological studies support 25(OH)vitamin D having protective effects on the cardiovascular system. However, the association of vitamin D deficiency with cardiovascular diseases is based primarily on observational and ecological studies and thus, is a matter of controversy. Adequately powered, randomized controlled clinical trial data are not available to confirm these associations. Thus, to test the hypothesis that correction of vitamin D deficiency protects the cardiovascular system, well-designed, statistically powered, longer-term clinical trials are needed in persons with vitamin D deficiency. Nevertheless, the available data support that adequate vitamin D supplementation and/or sensible sunlight exposure to achieve optimal vitamin D status are important in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases.
Keywords: 25(OH)D; Cardiac; Community; Hypertension; Morbidity and mortality; Renin and angiotensin.
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