Some articles on vitamin D and HDL  from Dec 2009

Vitamin D supplementation may improve HDL cholesterol levels

J Clin Lipidol 2009; Advance online publication

MedWire News: Low levels of serum 25(OH)D (vitamin D) are associated with low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and reduced waist circumference, report researchers in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology.

Low levels of vitamin D have previously been associated with markers of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, explain Kevin Maki (Provident Clinical Research, Glen Ellyn, Illinois, USA) and team.

In this cross-sectional study, the investigators recruited 257 men and women to assess links between vitamin D level and selected CVD risk markers including components of the metabolic syndrome such as HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and abdominal obesity.

They also evaluated dietary intake using food frequency and dietary supplement questionnaires.

Maki et al report that HDL cholesterol level significantly increased in a graded fashion, with levels increasing from 48.4 mg/dl to 62.3 mg/dl (1.25 to 1.61 mmol/l) among participants in the lowest and highest tertiles of serum vitamin D, respectively.

Each 10-ng/ml increment in serum vitamin D level was associated with an increase in HDL cholesterol of 3.80–4.20 mg/dl (0.10–0.11 mmol/l) following adjustment for established determinants of HDL cholesterol.

The authors point out that, if confirmed, this finding could have important implications with regard to coronary heart disease, as previous studies have shown that a 1.00 mg/dl (0.02 mmol/l) increase in HDL cholesterol is linked to a 4–6% decrease in risk for the condition.

Of note, each 1-ng/ml increment in vitamin D was associated with a significant 0.31 cm smaller waist circumference. But the researchers say this could be explained by the fact that vitamin D is fat soluble and there is therefore a “greater storage capacity for vitamin D in overweight and obese individuals, which may result in a reduced circulating concentration.”

Other factors such as triglycerides showed a graded inverse relationship with vitamin D level, and metabolic syndrome prevalence decreased significantly from the lowest to the highest tertile.

“These results suggest that clinical trials should be undertaken to assess the impact of increasing vitamin D intake on the metabolic cardiovascular risk factor profile,” concludes the team.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a part of Springer Science+Business Media. © Current Medicine Group Ltd; 2009

Raise HDL Naturally


Dr. William Davis

Wednesday, November 05, 2008  

In my last two posts (see: Reduce Triglycerides Naturally & Why Take Fish Oil if You Take a Statin Drug?), I discussed how, in my program for reversal of heart disease, we follow what I call the "Rule of 60": LDL 60 mg/dl, HDL 60 mg/dl, triglycerides 60 mg/dl, or 60:60:60.

We achieve greater control over heart disease risk by adhering to this formula, relying on as little medication as possible.

The question to consider here is: How can you achieve HDL of 60 mg/dl or greater?

First of all, many clinical studies suggest that HDL of 60 mg/dl is associated with dramatic reduction in rate of heart attack. Several studies suggest that higher levels of HDL are associated with less carotid and coronary atherosclerotic plaque. HDL particles are also protective against infections and even cancer, and are a major player in the body's fight against inflammatory patterns. In other words, HDL has clearly established itself as a blood particle that provides powerful protective functions.

Sadly, many of my colleagues are unaware of these simple yet effective methods for increasing HDL, often dramatically. With efforts like these, it is not uncommon to see 20, 30, even 40 mg/dl upwards jumps in HDL to reach levels of 50, 60, 70, even 80 mg/dl. The majority of these strategies can be followed on your own.

HDL can be raised by:

• Keeping triglycerides at a low level─Triglycerides modify HDL structure and hasten their elimination from the blood. (See last blog post on reducing triglycerides to 60 mg/dl.) Thus, keeping triglycerides low allows HDL to rise to healthier levels. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil are crucial for this effect.
• Reduction or elimination of foods that reduce HDL─Hydrogenated fats ("trans" fats) should be eliminated, since they reduce HDL (as well as increasing LDL and blood pressure, and have been associated with cancer). Hydrogenated fats are found in many margarines and processed foods. Because low-fat diets reduce HDL (and raise triglycerides), I advocate a diet approach that involves the elimination of foods made with wheat or cornstarch, as well as reduction or elimination of junk foods. This can skyrocket HDL enormously over time.
• Red wine─Although all alcoholic beverages raise HDL, red wine confers additional benefits, such as reduction in blood sugar and blood pressure, provided no more than 2 glasses per day are consumed.
• Dark Chocolate─Preferably 70% cocoa or greater. We ask our patients to not exceed 40 grams, or approximately 2 inches square, per day.
• Green tea─Brewed only, never instant or pre-mixed bottles. Several cups per day are required for its full effect.
• Vitamin D─Restoration of vitamin D levels to normal can yield increases in HDL of 10, 20, even 30 mg/dl, though it may require up to a year for the full effect to show.
• Exercise─The magnitude of increase in HDL depends to a great degree on your starting level. People who begin from a sedentary lifestyle can expect 10 mg/dl increase or more; people who begin with mild-moderate activity can expect less.

 comments at
************************************   Vitamin D and HDL

A study this month in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology looks at Vitamin D levels and the metabolic syndrome. The study was based on 257 patients: 71 men and 186 women. It was performed in the summer of August to September, 2008 for a six week analysis. The subjects were predominately non-Hispanic whites (93.4%) in Northern California. 11.6% of the patients had a 25-OH Vitamin D level less than 30. The results were as follows:

1) There was a statistically significant relationship (P less than 0.001) of Vitamin D levels and HDL. For each 10 ng/ml increment of 25-OH Vitamin D, there was an increase of 3.8 to 4.2 mg/dL of HDL-C. Studies have shown that each an increase of 1 ml/dL of HDL-C is associated with a 4-6% reduction of coronary artery disease (CAD). This equates to a 15-25% reduction on CAD for an increase of 10 ng/ml of 25-OH Vitamin D. Impressive for "a Vitamin" which is more like a hormone.

2) There was no statistical correlation between triglycerides and LDL in comparison to Vitamin D.

3) Vitamin D was positively associated with weight loss. For each 1 ng/ml increment of 25-OH Vitamin D, there was a 0.38 cm decrease in waist circumference. (P less than 0.001)

4) In terms of the metabolic syndrome, there was a 5% reduction in relative odds with each increase of 25-OH Vitamin D by 1 ng/ml.

5) Neither Systolic nor Diastolic blood pressures were associated with Vitamin D concentrations.

It is already known that Vitamin D improves insulin sensitivity. Refer to my post about adiponectin for more information.

I am always impressed with the outcomes of Hormone D.

Maki, KC, et al: Seum 25-hydroyvitamin D is independently associated with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and the metabolic syndrome in men and women. Journal of Clinical Lipidology. August, 2009; 3(4): 289-296.

return to Vit D   by Henry Lahore