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BACKGROUND: The relevance of vitamin D for prevention of cardiovascular disease is uncertain. The BEST-D (Biochemical Efficacy and Safety Trial of vitamin D) trial previously reported effects of vitamin D on plasma markers of vitamin D status, and the present report describes the effects on blood pressure, heart rate, arterial stiffness, and cardiac function. METHODS AND RESULTS: This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 305 older people living in United Kingdom, who were allocated vitamin D 4000 IU (100 μg), vitamin D 2000 IU (50 μg), or placebo daily. Primary outcomes were plasma concentrations of 25-hydroxy-vitamin D and secondary outcomes were blood pressure, heart rate, and arterial stiffness in all participants at 6 and 12 months, plasma N-terminal prohormone of brain natriuretic peptide levels in all participants at 12 months, and echocardiographic measures of cardiac function in a randomly selected subset (n=177) at 12 months. Mean (SE) plasma 25-hydroxy-vitamin D concentrations were 50 (SE 2) nmol/L at baseline and increased to 137 (2.4), 102 (2.4), and 53 (2.4) nmol/L after 12 months in those allocated 4000 IU/d, 2000 IU/d of vitamin D, or placebo, respectively. Allocation to vitamin D had no significant effect on mean levels of blood pressure, heart rate, or arterial stiffness at either 6 or 12 months, nor on any echocardiographic measures of cardiac function, or plasma N-terminal prohormone of brain natriuretic peptide concentration at 12 months. CONCLUSIONS: The absence of any significant effect of vitamin D on blood pressure, arterial stiffness, or cardiac function suggests that any beneficial effects of vitamin D on cardiovascular disease are unlikely to be mediated through these mechanisms. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: URL: Unique identifier: EudraCT number: 2011-005763-24a.

Original publication




Journal article


J Am Heart Assoc

Publication Date





blood pressure, cardiac dysfunction, vitamin D, Age Factors, Aged, Aging, Atrial Function, Left, Biomarkers, Blood Pressure, Cardiovascular Diseases, Dietary Supplements, Double-Blind Method, Echocardiography, England, Female, Heart Rate, Humans, Male, Natriuretic Peptide, Brain, Peptide Fragments, Time Factors, Treatment Outcome, Vascular Stiffness, Ventricular Function, Left, Vitamin D