Vitamin D in Cardiovascular Disease

In Vivo. 2018 Sep-Oct;32(5):977-981. doi: 10.21873/invivo.11338.


Cardiovascular disease is the prevalent cause of morbidity and mortality in the world, affecting many millions of individuals every year. Atherosclerosis, a chronic inflammatory condition that involves different cell types, several cytokines and adhesion molecules, is the underlying cause of cardiovascular disease. Vitamin D is known to control skeletal patho/physiology, regulating calcium and phosphorus and bone remodeling along with other calcium-regulating hormones. However, several active metabolites of vitamin D can exert both direct action, mainly via vitamin D3 receptor trans-activation and indirect actions on several other tissues by an endocrine, autocrine and paracrine manners. With regard to cardiovascular disease, vitamin D deficiency has been associated with activation of the pro-inflammatory mechanism, promoting atherogenesis. There are several large-scale clinical studies, as well as meta-analyses that support this finding. However, it is still unclear whether the plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D level can be used as a biomarker for future cardiovascular disease. Herein we review the studies reporting a causative role for vitamin D in cardiovascular disease.

Keywords: Atherosclerosis; cardiovascular disease; matrix metalloproteinases; review; vitamin D; vitamin D receptor.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atherosclerosis / etiology
  • Atherosclerosis / metabolism
  • Biosynthetic Pathways
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / pathology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Vitamin D / metabolism*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / metabolism


  • Receptors, Calcitriol
  • Vitamin D