"Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again..."

Location: Tampa, FL, United States

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Vitamin D and Stroke

Vitamin D is getting a lot of good publicity over the last few years with its importance in managing heart disease, osteoporosis, insulin sensitivity, multiple sclerosis, and cancer prevention, to name a few. Another emerging benefit is in stroke prevention. Science Daily ran this article recently reporting on a study with outstanding results, showing patients with very low levels of Vitamin D were 78% more likely to have a stroke than those with normalized Vitamin D levels (i.e. 25-Hydroxyvitamin D).

The general consensus about Vitamin D is the observational and epidemiological studies are numerous and showing impressive results, however, the role of Vitamin D supplementation warrants well-developed, large, randomized, double-blind studies first, before cementing its place in western medicine. Don't hold your breath waiting for these studies as there's no financial rewards proving the need to normalize Vitamin D levels. Moreover, the statins would probably go the way of the dinosaur if pitted in a trial against Vitamin D. In fact, statins may be affording their slight benefit because thay activate Vitamin D receptors and in some studies involving atorvastatin (Lipitor) and rosuvastatin (Crestor) Vitamin D levels go up in patients taking these statins. This latter finding is quite intriguing but that's another story for another day.

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