Nutrients 2013, 5(7), 2590-2610; doi:10.3390/nu5072590
Zhao-Min Liu 1 liuzhaomin at cuhk.edu.hk Jean Woo 1, Sheng-Hui Wu 2 and Suzanne C. Ho 3,
1 Department of Medicine & Therapeutics, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, 999077, China
2 Division of Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37203-1738, USA
3 Division of Epidemiology, The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, 999077, China
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin D and Human Health)
Background: Vitamin D is a pro-hormone that plays an essential role in the vasculature and in kidney function.
Aims: To review the extra-skeletal effects of vitamin D on blood pressure, endothelial and renal function with emphasis on recent findings in postmenopausal women.
Methods: Included in this review was a PubMed database search for English language articles through March 2013. This review discussed the physiology and definition of vitamin D deficiency, the recent evidence for the role vitamin D in blood pressure, vascular and renal function.
Results: Experimental and epidemiological data suggest that vitamin D plays an important role in the vasculature and in kidney function. Low vitamin D concentrations appear to significantly associate with hypertension, endothelial and renal dysfunction. However, the results of clinical trials have generally been mixed. Studies specifically conducted among postmenopausal women are limited and findings are still inconsistent.
Conclusions: Definitive studies are warranted to elucidate the effects of vitamin D supplementation on vascular and renal function and a more detailed work is needed to outline the route, duration and optimal dose of supplementation. It is premature to recommend vitamin D as a therapeutic option in the improvement of vascular and renal function at the current stage.
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