Efficacy of Monthly High-Dose Vitamin D Supplementation in CVD Prevention

HealthDay News –  Taking high doses of vitamin D once a month won’t lower the risk for cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in JAMA Cardiology.

The researchers behind the new study tracked the cardiovascular health of 5,108 adults (Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: ACTRN12611000402943). The study sought to determine whether monthly high-dose vitamin D supplementation prevented cardiovascular disease in the general population. 

All participants were between 50 and 84 years old. About one-quarter were vitamin D deficient at the start of the trial — registering vitamin D levels of less than 20 ng/mL. 

Half were assigned to receive a high-dose vitamin D supplement once a month, with an initial dose of 200,000 IUs. 

That was followed by a regular monthly dose of 100,000 IUs. The other half received a monthly regimen of placebo supplements. The participants continued this regimen for more than three years, on average.

The investigators found that nearly 12% of both groups had developed some form of cardiovascular disease. 

The risk for developing hypertension and/or experiencing myocardial infarction, stroke, heart failure, or angina was similar whether or not a participant had begun the study deficient in vitamin D.

“Monthly high-dose vitamin D supplementation does not prevent cardiovascular disease,” the authors write. “This result does not support the use of monthly vitamin D supplementation for this purpose. The effects of daily or weekly dosing require further study.”

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Scragg R, Stewart AW, Waayer D, et al. Effect of monthly high-dose vitamin D supplementation on cardiovascular disease in the Vitamin D Assessment Study : A randomized Clinical trial [published online April 5, 2017] JAMA Cardiol. doi: 10.1001/jamacardio.2017.0175