Vitamin D supplements 'do not improve cholesterol'

5 September 2012

Previous research has suggested that taking vitamin D supplements could improve cholesterol, but this is not the case, according to new findings.

A team of scientists found that cholesterol levels did not improve when people with vitamin D deficiency received mega-doses of the vitamin, at least in the short term, according to research published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.

In the research, scientists studied 151 people with vitamin D deficiency, giving them either 50,000 internationals units of vitamin D3, or a placebo every week for eight weeks. They also measured participants' cholesterol levels before and after treatment.

While the group receiving the supplement saw their vitamin D levels increase to the recommended about, this did not change their cholesterol levels.

"Our study challenges the notion that replenishing vitamin D improves cholesterol," says research leader Manish Ponda. "In fact, a biologic response to vitamin D was correlated with an increase in LDL cholesterol."

Posted by Philip Briggs

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