Insufficient levels of vitamin D have been found to correlate with an increase in cardiovascular disease, and researchers at Washington University School of Medicine believe they know why. In their study titled, "1,25(OH)2 Vitamin D Inhibits Foam Cell Formation and Suppresses Macrophage Cholesterol Uptake in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus", which came out this week in the journal Circulation, they demonstrate that vitamin D inhibits the uptake of cholesterol by cells called macrophages. In the absence of vitamin D, macrophages aren't very good at controlling how much cholesterol they take in; basically, if it's around they'll gobble it up.
Cholesterol is transported through the blood attached to lipoproteins such as LDL, which is known as the 'bad' cholesterol". When cholesterol comes into contact with free radicals (like reactive oxygen species), LDL becomes oxidated, and macrophages eat it uncontrollably. At this point, the macrophages become clogged with cholesterol and become what is known as foam cells. This is the beginning of atherosclerosis (stiff blood vessels).
The good news is that vitamin D is able to inhibit the uptake of cholesterol by macrophages and thus prevent or slow their transformation into foam cells.
While these studies were done in vitro (with cells in test tubes), principal investigator Bernal-Mizrachi, has begun another vitamin D study on diabetics that are vitamin D deficient and have high blood pressure to see if vitamin D supplementation will lower blood pressure and improve blood flow.
With all the good news coming out based on vitamin D, we've decided to up our amounts of vitamin D in BoneMate Plus from 400 IU per serving to 2000 IU.