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

Vitamin D in Cardiovascular Disease.

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Department of Physiology, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.
Biochemistry & Microbiology Laboratory, Hipokrateion Hospital, Athens, Greece.
Health Center, National Health System, Areopolis, Greece.
Department of Physiology, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece


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.


Atherosclerosis; cardiovascular disease; matrix metalloproteinases; review; vitamin D; vitamin D receptor

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