HomeHEALTH & WELLNESSCan Vitamin D Cause Or Worsen Artery Calcification?

Can Vitamin D Cause Or Worsen Artery Calcification?

Vitamin D governs calcium metabolism within our body. When its concentration is not adequate, mineral deposits can form on the walls of blood vessels.

Calcium Buildup Stiffens The Arteries

Calcification of the arteries corresponds to the accumulation of calcium and phosphate in the walls of blood vessels. It then thickens and loses its flexibility. This process is at work in cases of atherosclerosis: 90% of the plaques obstructing blood circulation present calcifications. It also occurs in chronic diseases such as diabetes or kidney failure.

Calcification Of The Arteries: A Danger For Cardiovascular Health

This alteration in the structure of blood vessels represents a risk for cardiovascular health. A meta-analysis synthesized data relating to 218,080 people followed on average for ten years. It revealed that the presence of calcifications is associated with a three to four times higher risk of cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction or stroke.

Vitamin D Deficiency Promotes Arterial Calcification

Vitamin D deficiencies are common in the population and are conducive to the occurrence of arterial calcifications.

A Link Between Vitamin D And The Risk Of Arterial Calcifications

Some epidemiological studies have highlighted a link between the level of vitamin D circulating in the body and the presence of arterial calcifications. Men aged 40 to 49 with calcified blood vessels are three times more likely to be vitamin D deficient than those without it. People with low blood vitamin D levels have also shown an increased risk of developing calcifications in the arteries that supply the heart.

Lack Of Vitamin D Could Promote The Progression Of Calcification

Low levels of vitamin D in the body could also worsen vascular calcification. A group of 302 people over 50 was followed for four years. Participants whose level of calcidiol, the precursor of the active form of vitamin D, was between 10 and 20 ng/mL had a four times greater risk of seeing the phenomenon spread compared to those whose level was greater than 30 ng/mL.

A Poor Diet Leads To Vascular Calcifications In Animals

Epidemiological studies do not make it possible to formally incriminate the responsibility of the lack of vitamin D in the occurrence of these calcifications. Still, studies carried out on animals tend to confirm it. Mice raised indoors, deprived of sunlight, can only obtain vitamin D through their diet. When deficient in this nutrient, animals develop vascular calcifications, while high intakes prove protective.

In deficient mice, specific cells present in the inner layer of the blood vessel wall transform. They evolve into cells resembling osteoblasts, the specialized units of bones that ensure their calcification. They, therefore, generate these training courses in a more appropriate place.

Excess Vitamin D Also Promotes Arterial Calcifications

If the lack of vitamin D promotes calcium deposits in the artery walls, the opposite situation does the same.

In Animals, Excess Vitamin D Causes Vascular Calcifications

Research shows that, in animals, administering a high dose of vitamin D can quickly lead to calcification of blood vessels. A treatment based on calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D, given to rats for eight days causes significant aorta calcification. Calcium and phosphate increase dramatically in the vascular tissue, 10 to 30 times compared to expected. As soon as the treatment is stopped, the phenomenon regresses. In 9 weeks, the quantity of calcium deposits decreases by 75% under the action of immune cells, which destroy them.

Increased Absorption Of Calcium And Phosphate

This situation is partly explained by one of the essential roles of vitamin D, which is responsible for facilitating the absorption of calcium and phosphate in the intestine. This is how it promotes bone health and prevents rickets in children.

When vitamin D is in excess, the increased levels of these minerals in the blood reach harmful levels. The resulting hypercalcemia and hyperphosphatemia promote the occurrence of calcifications in the body’s soft tissues, including blood vessels. The Society of Endocrinology defines hypervitaminosis D as a blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D more significant than 100 ng/mL (or 250 nmol/L) and vitamin D intoxication when it exceeds 150 ng/mL (or 375 nmol/L). 

An Imbalance Between Pro And Anti-Calcification Factors

Experimental studies have revealed other mechanisms of action by which excess vitamin D promotes vascular calcifications. Calcitriol blocks the action of a compound, parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP), which opposes calcification of vascular cells. It also promotes the production of metalloproteinases, enzymes which, on the contrary, encourage this process.

Neither Too Much Nor Too Little Vitamin D To Avoid Calcifications

Levels of vitamin D that are both too low or too high promote the development of vascular calcifications.

A Balanced Level Of Vitamin D Is Necessary For Vascular Health

This phenomenon has been highlighted in children suffering from kidney disease. In them, the last step of transforming vitamin D into an active form, mainly in the kidneys, is compromised. The use of calcitriol supplementation is, therefore, essential. Researchers have studied the impact of vitamin D levels in these children’s bodies on their vascular health

They found that the level of vascular calcifications and the thickness of their carotids (the arteries of the neck) were greater both in those who had too low levels of calcitriol (below 40 pmol/L) and in those presenting too high (greater than 150 pmol/L). In young patients whose active vitamin D levels in the blood were within the normal range, the carotid artery’s thickness was comparable to that of healthy children.

Increased Levels Of Inflammation In Vitamin D Deficiency

In deficient children, C-reactive protein levels were elevated, reflecting a high degree of inflammation. The excessive presence of inflammatory compounds such as TNF-α, interleukin-1 beta or interleukin-6 contributes to damage to the tissue lining inside blood vessels. This phenomenon constitutes a trigger for the calcification mechanism. The ability of vitamin D to suppress it is explained in particular by its anti-inflammatory effects.

The Ideal Dose Of Vitamin D

To have protective levels of vitamin D in terms of vascular health, it is therefore legitimate to question the ideal dosage for supplementation.

The Impact Of Long-Term Supplementation On Arterial Calcifications

A new report by specialists at the College of Calgary in Canada shows that drawn-out supplementation, even at the most extreme everyday portion not to be surpassed (10,000 IU), doesn’t address a risk of blood vessel calcifications. The group investigated information gathered from 302 individuals aged 55 to 70, enhanced with fluctuating portions of vitamin D: 400, 4000 or 10,000 IU for a long time. 

The level of calcification in the tibial corridor was surveyed before supplementation and checked consistently over these three years. Before the beginning of supplementation, 85 members (or 28% of the gathering) introduced calcifications. In these, the number of stores slowly expanded throughout the long term, with no distinction relying upon the degree of vitamin D supplementation. 

The high measurement didn’t complement blood vessel calcifications more extraordinary than the extremely low dose. None of the different members created blood vessel calcifications during the review. Generally, portions of vitamin D up to 10,000 IU don’t advance the event of the peculiarity of calcification. In individuals who, as of now, have it, they likewise gave no advantage regarding this review.

Vitamin D Supplementation Improves Arterial Flexibility

The circumstance is different in individuals with a demonstrated lack of vitamin D. For this situation, the supplementation works on the adaptability of the corridors, which is even more set apart as the portion is enormous.

The review that exhibited this advantageous impact was done on 70 overweight or stout African Americans aged 13 to 45 years of age and introduced blood vessel firmness. Lacks vitamin D are expected in this populace; the melanin that colors as far as possible the creation limit of vitamin D during openness to the sun, and the sizable fat mass sequesters this fat-solvent nutrient.

Members changed portions of vitamin D of 600, 2000 or 4000 IU each day for a long time. The most noteworthy portion decreased blood vessel firmness by 10.4% in only four months. With 2000 IU, the drop just came to 2%. The circumstance kept demolishing in the gathering, getting 600 IU with an expansion in blood vessel firmness of 1%, and the fake treatment bunches expanded by 2.3%.

The Ideal Range Of Vitamin D Supplementation

In this manner, a reasonable vitamin D status seems fundamental for keeping up with vascular well-being. The formally suggested portions of two or three hundred IU daily should be expanded to accomplish an ideal blood level; ascertaining your vitamin D need all the more unequivocally found on your profile is ideal.

Consolidating vitamin D admission with nutrient K2 supplementation might be alluring if blood vessel calcifications are available. As per information from the recently referenced clinical preliminary, vitamin D supplementation addresses no risk of calcifications as long as it stays under 10,000 IU daily.

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