Vitamin D and inflammation

We already know that vitamin D reduces inflammatory processes, since several markers, including c-reactive protein and IL-6 have previously been shown to drop substantially with vitamin D. Inflammation underlies coronary atherosclerotic plaque growth, as well as plaque rupture that triggers heart attack.

A German group has now shown that the important inflammatory marker, tumor necrosis factor (TNF), is also reduced by vitamin D supplementation. Many studies have implicated increased TNF levels in promoting cancer.

In this study, a modest vitamin D dose of 3320 units (83 micrograms) was given vs. placebo. The 25-hydroxy D level reached in the treated group was 34.2 ng/ml (85.5 nmol/L), which resulted in a 26.5% reduction in TNF compared with 18.7% reduction (?) in the placebo group.

Vitamin D supplementation enhances the beneficial effects of weight loss on cardiovascular disease risk markers.

Zitterman A, Frisch S et al.

BACKGROUND: High blood concentrations of parathyroid hormone and low concentrations of the vitamin D metabolites 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and calcitriol are considered new cardiovascular disease risk markers. However, there is also evidence that calcitriol increases lipogenesis and decreases lipolysis.
OBJECTIVE: We investigated the effect of vitamin D on weight loss and traditional and nontraditional cardiovascular disease risk markers in overweight subjects.
DESIGN: Healthy overweight subjects (n = 200) with mean 25(OH)D concentrations of 30 nmol/L (12 ng/mL) received vitamin D (83 microg/d) or placebo in a double-blind manner for 12 mo while participating in a weight-reduction program.
RESULTS: Weight loss was not affected significantly by vitamin D supplementation (-5.7 +/- 5.8 kg) or placebo (-6.4 +/- 5.6 kg). However, mean 25(OH)D and calcitriol concentrations increased by 55.5 nmol/L and 40.0 pmol/L, respectively, in the vitamin D group but by only 11.8 nmol/L and 9.3 pmol/L, respectively, in the placebo group.

(Calcitriol = 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D.)

Knowing your vitamin D blood level is crucial, as individual need for vitamin D varies widely from one person to the next. You can get your vitamin D tested at home by going to Grassroots Health or the Track Your Plaque Marketplace.

Comments (9) -

  • TedHutchinson

    4/25/2009 6:53:00 PM |

    I'm sure readers here are all capable of the basic maths involved but I would like to emphasize this research simply confirms what Dr Davis has previously told us about the average amounts needed to raise 25(OH)D status.
    The study confirms 3320iu/d raised status 55.5nmol/l from 30 to 85.5nmol/L = 34.2ng
    Bonn is 10 degrees further north from where Dr Davis works. EEC countries do not fortify milk/cereals with D3. It is likely therefore that double the amount used in this trial should produce, (at this more northerly latitude & in countries where milk/cereals are not vit D fortified) a result comparable to Dr Davis's finding, that his average patient requires 5500iu/d to achieve 60ng. (given the usual proviso's about individual variation and need for individual testing to confirm your particular needs)

  • Kiwi

    4/25/2009 11:20:00 PM |

    What's the TYP take on this report:

    "MRI study shows plaque lipid core depletion with intensive lipid-lowering therapy."

    "Intensive statin therapy in patients with coronary or carotid artery disease significantly depleted the lipid content of atherosclerotic plaques"

  • moblogs

    4/26/2009 10:27:00 AM |

    On a slightly different topic, this was on BBC News today:

    Now if vitamin D, vitamin D analogues and statins (which studies have shown raise D to some extent) have an impact on prostate issues, it should be glaringly clear what the 'magic ingredient' is. Yet we're still sold the mantra that analogues are safer (unproven) and statins have other benefits (again unproven).

  • Kismet

    4/28/2009 11:46:00 AM |

    Kiwi, what do you mean? What should it be? Statins work... to some very limited degree if not used at high doses or combined with other treatments.
    BTW, there's an impressive synergy between statins and vitamin D.

    Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2009 Feb;85(2):198-203. Epub 2008 Aug 27.
    Effects of vitamin D supplementation in atorvastatin-treated patients: a new drug interaction with an unexpected consequence.
    Schwartz JB.

  • Kiwi

    4/28/2009 11:45:00 PM |

    Well, it was a surprise to me that statins shrink plaque.
    My cardiologist never explained that one to me ;)
    I thought TYP was the gold-standard.

    News today that men on statins have a significant reduction in prostate cancer (presumably through reduced inflammation).
    Headline reads:
    "Cholesterol-Busting 'Wonder' Drugs"

    What about vitamin D then?
    Where is:
    "D the Wonder Vitamin"

    Of course, no money in promoting it, so not newsworthy.
    Most never get to hear about the broad spectrum benefits from D, even though it's well known medically now.
    Could even save your life if you get swine flu.
    I doubt statins will do that!

  • Alex

    4/30/2009 11:20:00 AM |

    According to Marshall et al (you commented on his theory already) 25 (OH)D ist immunosupressive. This effect starts at about 20 ng/ml.  Thus it is no wonder that immflamatory markers are reduced. However suppresion of the immune systems may lead to other side effects, as growing number of pathogens that may be also relevant for other diseases (including hearth)

  • Centrum Vitamins

    8/4/2009 8:31:53 AM |

    Talking about the vitamin D reminds us to get our bone and teeth strong. Everyone needs vitamins, I egree. This is a good website and thanks for sharing. Vitamins Blog

  • buy jeans

    11/3/2010 3:01:40 PM |

    A German group has now shown that the important inflammatory marker, tumor necrosis factor (TNF), is also reduced by vitamin D supplementation. Many studies have implicated increased TNF levels in promoting cancer.