The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Vitamin D, weight loss, and heart disease risk

    Researchers from Germany studied the effect of vitamin D on weight loss and on risk factors associated cardiovascular disease in overweight people.

    First, the details.

    • 200 healthy overweight people were treated with vitamin D (83 µg/day) or placebo for 12 months.
    • Neither the participants nor the researchers knew the treatment given — double-blind.
    • The average blood level of vitamin D (25[OH]D) at the start of the study was 30 nmol/L (12 ng/mL).
      • Normal range is 16 to 74 ng/mL.
    • Everyone participated in a weight-reduction program.

    And, the results.

    • Weight loss was not affected by vitamin D supplementation.
    • However, vitamin D and calcitriol blood levels increased significantly in the vitamin D group vs placebo.
      • Calcitriol helps regulate and calcium absorption.
    • Blood levels of parathyroid hormone, triglycerides, and  tumor necrosis factor-{alpha} decreased significantly more with vitamin D vs placebo.
      • Tumor necrosis factor-{alpha} is used to measure inflammation, which is associated with the risk of heart disease.
    • These changes were not related to weight reduction, fat mass, and gender.
    • On the negative side, vitamin D supplementation significantly increased LDL (bad) cholesterol levels 5.4% compared to a 2.5% decrease with placebo.

    The bottom line?
    Vitamin D did not affect weight loss.

    Regarding the risk factors for heart disease, the authors concluded, “Vitamin D supplement of 83 µg/day… is able to significantly improve several cardiovascular disease risk markers in overweight subjects with inadequate vitamin D status participating in a weight-reduction program.”

    4/20/09 20:56 JR

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