The Nation's Health + [vitamin D]

Vitamin D: HDL and vitamin D

I know of no published reports on this question, but I've now seen numerous people experience significant jumps in HDL with raising blood vitamin D to 25-OH-vitamin D3.

Last week, for example, I had a man who had struggled with raising HDL from a starting level of 28 mg/dl. On niacin, exercise, weight loss, fish oil, red wine, and cilostazol (a prescription agent that I use occasionally that raises HDL), his HDL rose to 41 mg/dl--better, but hardly to our goal.

I added vitamin D, 4000 units, and raised his 25-OH-vitamin D3 level from 22 ng/ml to 53 ng/ml. Next HDL: 73 mg/dl! Small LDL improves along with a rise in HDL.

Not everybody's response is this dramatic. I see more typical rises of 5 to 10 mg/dl every day. I'm uncertain of why the response is inconsistent, though people who begin with lower vitamin D levels seem to experience a larger HDL increase. I wonder if the partial normalization of insulin and glucose responses is at work, or some anti-inflammatory effect.

Vitamin D provides so many other benefits, as well as HDL-raising. I hope you've gone to the effort to have your blood level checked to determine your replacement need. If not, now's the time. February represents your nadir (lowest point) for 25-OH-vitamin D3 blood levels.