Vitamin D as a protector of arterial health: potential role in peripheral arterial disease formation

Krishna, Smriti (2019) Vitamin D as a protector of arterial health: potential role in peripheral arterial disease formation. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 20 (19). 4907.

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Atherosclerotic occlusive diseases and aneurysms that affect large and medium-sized arteries outside the cardiac and cerebral circulation are collectively known as peripheral arterial disease (PAD). With a rise in the rate of aging population worldwide, the number of people diagnosed with PAD is rapidly increasing. The micronutrient vitamin D is an important steroid hormone that acts on many crucial cellular mechanisms. Experimental studies suggest that optimal levels of vitamin D have beneficial effects on the heart and blood vessels; however, high vitamin D concentrations have been implicated in promoting vascular calcification and arterial stiffness. Observations from various clinical studies shows that deficiency of vitamin D has been associated with a greater risk of PAD. Epidemiological studies have often reported an inverse relation between circulating vitamin D status measured in terms of 25-hydroxivitamin D [25(OH)D] levels and increased cardiovascular disease risk; however, randomized controlled trials did not show a consistent positive effect of vitamin D supplementation on cardiovascular disease risk or events. Even though PAD shares all the major risk factors with cardiovascular diseases, the effect of vitamin D deficiency in PAD is not clear. Current evidence suggests a strong role of vitamin D in promoting genomic and epigenomic changes. This review summarises the current literature that supports the notion that vitamin D deficiency may promote PAD formation. A better understanding of underlying pathological mechanisms will open up new therapeutic possibilities which is the main unmet need in PAD management. Furthermore, epigenetic evidence shows that a more holistic approach towards PAD prevention that incorporates a healthy lifestyle, adequate exercise and optimal nutrition may be more effective in protecting the genome and maintaining a healthy vasculature.

Item ID: 61090
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1422-0067
Copyright Information: © 2019 by the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Funders: College of Medicine and Dentistry, James Cook University (JCU)
Projects and Grants: JCU-QLD-932377
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2020 04:49
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3201 Cardiovascular medicine and haematology > 320101 Cardiology (incl. cardiovascular diseases) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920103 Cardiovascular System and Diseases @ 100%
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