12 January - 20 June 2016

Vitamin D3 may help in the protection from, and treatment of, cardiovascular system damage

A study using nanomedical systems, published in the International Journal of Nanomedicine and conducted by scientists from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Ohio University has shown that vitamin D3 is able to reverse the damage caused to the cardiovascular system by a number of diseases, including hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. Vitamin D3 is produced naturally by the body after exposure of skin to sunlight, but is also present in many food sources, such as fatty fish, eggs, and beef, as well as being available over the counter as a supplement.

A study using nanomedical systems, published in the International Journal of Nanomedicine and conducted by scientists from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Ohio University has shown that vitamin D3 is able to reverse the damage caused to the cardiovascular system by a number of diseases, including hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. Vitamin D3 is produced naturally by the body after exposure of skin to sunlight, but is also present in many food sources, such as fatty fish, eggs, and beef, as well as being available over the counter as a supplement.

Vitamin D3 has historically been associated with bones, but, as Professor Tadeusz Malinski mentions, “in recent years, in clinical settings people recognise that many patients who have a heart attack will have a deficiency of D3”. He goes on to state that although not the cause of the heart attack, it does increase the risk. Previous studies have also shown that mouse models with a vitamin D3 receptor knockout had higher arterial blood pressure, and conversely, hypertensive rats treated with vitamin D3 had a suppression of endothelial-dependent aorta contraction. Also noted is vitamin D3’s proven ability to break down blood clots and decrease coagulation.

Dysfunction of cells that line the inner surface of blood vessels, the endothelium, in the cardiovascular system is characterised by a decreased production of the protective nitric oxide (NO), and an increased presence of the cytotoxic peroxynitrite (ONOO-), a powerful oxidant. NO plays a vital role in blood flow regulation as a vasorelaxant, versus the vasoconstrictive effect produced by ONOO-. ONOO- is produced mainly through the uncoupling of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and NADPH oxidase. When partially uncoupled, O2- radicals, as well as NO, are released which can then result in the production of ONOO-.

In the study, Malinski et al. used human umbilical vein endothelial cells from both African American and Caucasian American donors. The team used both normal endothelial cells and cells exposed to the peptide hormone Angiotensin II, to provide a cellular model of hypertension. Nanosensors (200 – 300 nm in diameter), developed by the team, were used to monitor the NO and ONOO- molecular levels in the cells after treatment with vitamin D3. Malinski et al. claim this system is unique and that no other available technique is suitable to simultaneously measure NO and ONOO- in single endothelial cells. The group notes that vitamin D3 generally refers to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, the hormonally active metabolite of vitamin D3. When treated with 1 µmol/L of vitamin D3, there was an increase in the bioavailability of NO, with a corresponding decrease in ONOO- in the hypertensive cells. Another important finding was that treatment of vitamin D3 on the hypertensive cellular model also showed a decrease in eNOS and NADPH oxidase expression, two major sources of O2- radical production, thus further helping restore functionality to the endothelial cells.

In discussion, Malinski et al. note that a “modest rate of vitamin D3 -stimulated NO release is of crucial importance to the proper function of the endothelium and cardiovascular system” and reiterate their finding that, in a cellular model of hypertension, vitamin D3 significantly restored bioavailable NO with the associated decrease in “nitroxidative stress” associated with ONOO-. In conclusion, Malinski et al note that while previous studies had suggested that vitamin D3 was able to increase NO production, theirs is the first to “identify the molecular mechanism” by which vitamin D3 restores the function of endothelial cells. They also state that as dysfunction of the endothelial is a “common denominator” of many cardiovascular diseases, treatment with vitamin D3, at higher doses than are currently used in bone disease treatment, may have a beneficial impact on the treatment of the cardiovascular system.

RSSL provides vitamin analysis in a wide range of matrices including drinks, fortified foods, pre-mixes and multi-vitamin tablets, including the analysis for Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3.  It provides a full vitamin and mineral analysis service to assist with labelling, due diligence, claim substantiation and stability. To find out more please contact Customer Services telephone 0118 918 4076 or e-mail enquiries@rssl.com

share this article
RSSL endeavours to check the veracity of news stories cited in this free e-mail bulletin by referring to the primary source, but cannot be held responsible for inaccuracies in the articles so published. RSSL provides links to other World Wide Web sites as a convenience to users, but cannot be held responsible for the content or availability of these sites. This document may be copied and distributed provided the source is cited as RSSL's Food e-News and the information so distributed is not used for profit.

Previous editions

Load more editions

Make an Enquiry