FRIDAY, April 17, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Consuming foods high in vitamin D may have heart-protective effects, according to a Greek study published online April 7 in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics.

Matina Kouvari, form Harokopio University in Athens, Greece, and colleagues evaluated the association between dietary vitamin D intake and 10-year first fatal/nonfatal cardiovascular disease (CVD), conventional CVD risk factors, and surrogate markers related to inflammation, coagulation, insulin resistance, and liver and renal function. The analysis included 1,514 men and 1,528 women who participated in the ATTICA study (2001 to 2012). Follow-up was achieved in 2,020 participants (317 cases).

The researchers found that for men, CVD events were 24 percent for the first vitamin D tertile, 17 percent for the second, and 12 percent for the third; for women, the corresponding values were 14, 10, and 11 percent. There was an inverse association seen between vitamin D and CVD in the total sample (hazard ratio, 0.76) and in men (hazard ratio, 0.66). However, the association was no longer significant after adjusting for inflammation/coagulation markers. No significant associations were seen in women. There was an inverse association between vitamin D with hypertension in men (hazard ratio, 0.62) and transition to metabolically unhealthy status in women (hazard ratio, 0.69). For both sexes, there were significant inverse associations for C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, and fibrinogen.

“Contradicting the neutral/modest associations in vitamin D supplementation trials, increased food-generated vitamin D may protect against hard and intermediate CVD endpoints, implying different paths between sexes,” the authors write.

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