Both basic science and clinical studies support the concept that vitamin D deficiency is involved in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular and renal diseases through its association with diabetes, obesity, and hypertension. Understanding the underlying mechanisms may provide a rationale for advocating adequate intake of vitamin D and calcium in all populations, thereby preventing many chronic diseases. This review explores the effect of vitamin D deficiency in the development of cardiovascular and renal diseases, and the role of vitamin D supplementation on cardiovascular outcomes. In addition, it highlights the importance of vitamin D intake for the prevention of adverse long-term health consequences, and in ways to facilitate the management of cardiovascular disease. This is particularly true for African American and postmenopausal women, who are at added risk for cardiovascular disease. We suggest that the negative cardiovascular effects of low vitamin D in postmenopausal women could be improved by a combined treatment of vitamin D and sex steroids acting through endothelium-dependent and/or -independent mechanisms, resulting in the generation of nitric oxide and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP).
Vitamin D, Sex hormones, Health disparity, Nitric oxide, CGRP, Heart disease, Renal disease, Review