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Eur J Drug Metab Pharmacokinet. 2015 Mar;40(1):87-94. doi: 10.1007/s13318-014-0183-z. Epub 2014 Apr 18.

Effect of vitamin D on bioavailability and lipid lowering efficacy of simvastatin.

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Research Center, Prince Sultan Medical Military City, P.O. Box k-486, Riyadh, 11159, Saudi Arabia,


The 3-hydroxy 3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase (HMG-CoA reductase) inhibitors known as "statins" are widely prescribed for the management of dyslipidemia. In spite of their muscle toxicity, use of statins has alarmingly increased worldwide. A recent report suggests that vitamin D (VD) levels are closely associated with lipid lowering activity and muscular toxicity of statins. However, data are limited and inconclusive. The present study was undertaken to investigate the effect of VD supplementation on the bioavailability and lipid lowering effect of simvastatin (ST). Adult Sprague-Dawley male rats (250 ± 10 g) were divided into four groups including control, ST (100 mg/kg/day), VD (100 μg/kg/day) and ST + VD group, respectively. After the dosing period of 8 days the animals were sacrificed and the blood was collected for the analysis of ST, its active metabolite simvastatin acid (STA), total cholesterol, triglyceride and liver enzymes including aspartate transaminase and alanine transaminase. The result of this study showed a significant decrease in the level of cholesterol and triglyceride in ST alone treated group, whereas VD alone failed to alter the blood lipid levels. Concomitant treatment with VD produced significant decrease in the bioavailability of ST and STA. However, there was no significant difference in the level of cholesterol in ST alone and in ST + VD treated group. Our results on the liver enzyme suggest that ST alone or in combination with VD does not produce any hepatotoxicity. Further studies using VD along with various statins for a longer duration are suggested.

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