Vitamin D is an extremely popular topic at Nutrientology. There is just so much favorable vitamin D research coming out pertaining to diabetes and prediabetes metabolic syndrome that we must frequently report on it.
As all smart Nutrientology readers know, prediabetes is associated with reduced HDL levels, but it appears that vitamin D may be able to help this.
A recent study shows that vitamin D supplementation improves HDL levels among other cardiovascular biomarkers. The study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition used a daily supplement dose of 1000 international units (25 mcg) of vitamin D for 3 months in 77 “healthy” overweight or obese women with an average age of 38 years. The researchers set out to evaluate the relationship between this vitamin D dosage and cardiovascular risk factors.
This vitamin D supplement dosage was associated with positive changes in:
Body fat mass
An apparent healthier form of LDL-cholesterol
There have been a number of associations and evidence that indicates that vitamin D deficiency is a factor in cardiovascular disease. I have previously posted on the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among people presenting to the emergency room with a heart attack.
Apolipoprotein A-1 is the major protein component of high density lipoprotein (HDL). HDL: Apolipoprotein A-1 concentration increased in the vitamin D group.
This study did show an increase in LDL cholesterol among those taking the vitamin D supplement, however the authors believe that the form of LDL was Less dangerous because it had an overall lower concentration of apolipoprotein B as measured by LDL to apolipoprotein B ratio.
If you haven’t had enough, read on for an expanded scientific explanation…
I have previously posted on the different types of LDL and their corresponding apparent danger because of their potential to cause plaque and resultant “hardening of the arteries.” The latest thinking on this topic indicates that so-called large buoyant LDL is less likely to cause plaque formation in the arteries than small dense LDL. One way these two types of LDL vary is in the amount of apolipoprotein B that they contain.
The smaller LDL particles are denser because they still contain the same amount of protein (apolipoprotein B) as other LDL particles, but a smaller amount of lipids (fats), which make them less buoyant. The so-called large buoyant LDL particles contain more lipid.
As I mentioned, in this study there was an increase observed in the ratio of LDL to apolipoprotein B. Apolipoprotein B is the main Apoprotein of LDL cholesterol that is responsible for the transport of cholesterol to tissues. Apolipoprotein B has been associated with hardening of the arteries. So although the LDL cholesterol level was raised in the group taking the vitamin D supplement, the researchers suggest that the vitamin D supplemented group had a less dangerous form of LDL because it contained less apolipoprotein B and was therefore more buoyant. Needless to say, this is a very intricate and complicated area.
The authors conclude that, “ The findings showed that supplementation with vitamin D 3 can significantly improve HDL-cholesterol, apolipoprotein A-1 concentrations and LDL-cholesterol: ApoB-100 ratio…”