How does Vitamin D lower Heart Disease Risk?
Dr. Stephen Chaney, PhD is part of our illustrious field team.
His credentials include:
BS in Biophysics Duke PHD, Biochemistry UCLA
Prof Biochemistry & Biophysics in Dept of Nutrition,
UNC Chapel Hill teaches Med Students. Runs an active Cancer Research Program
Dr Chaney has published 95 Peer reviewed studies ( found in Medical journals plus 2 reviews & 2 chapters of one of the leading biochemical textbooks used by medical students today. )
Teacher of year, Medical Alumni Distinguished Teacher Professorship
What I enjoy most about Dr Chaney is the way he explains things.
The information below is sourced from one of his emails – thank you Dr Chaney for the resource that you are to the field
It’s really hard to know who to trust in the food supplement industry.
Everyone claims that their product is backed by solid science. But most companies rely on “borrowed science”or “marketing science” to back their product.
What do I mean by ” borrowed science”?
Simply put they are citing references that show that an ingredient in their product has a desired effect. They aren’t actually doing studies with their product
Why is that important?
In some cases the reports are simply wrong. There have been several times that our Scientific Advisory Board have recommended that our company do their own studies before marketing the product.
They did. Products didn’t work, and they never marketed it. Examples include chromium picolinate and policosanol.
In each case studies showing that those ingredients didn’t work were eventually published. In the meantime many other companies were making lots of money marketing products that didn’t work.
So what do I mean by “marketing science”? By that I mean that when most companies actually do a clinical study with their products, they design the study solely with marketing in mind. They don’t really care about the science. They just want to be able to make a marketing claim.
A Vitamin D study presented at the annual National Lipid Association meeting in Miami is a perfect example.
Several previous studies had suggested that Vitamin D lowered the risk of heart disease, but nobody knew quite why.
Our scientists hypothesized that vitamin D might have a beneficial effect on HDL levels (which reduces the risk of heart disease) and metabolic syndrome (which increases the risk of heart disease). We worked with Dr. Kevin Maki of Provident Clinical Research in Glen Ellyn IL to test that hypothesis.
The Landmark Study, the first independent long term (20 year) study done by U Cal Berkeley, had already shown that people taking quality nutritional supplements on a regular basis generally had adequate levels of vitamin D in the blood.
Our company took blood samples from attendees at their 2008 New Orleans conference so that the study would have a large number of subjects with adequate vitamin D levels.
Dr. Maki then recruited a number of non- quality supplement users from local clinics so that the study would also contain a significant number of subjects with low levels of vitamin D in their blood.
The results were striking! HDL levels increased as the blood levels of vitamin D increased and markers of metabolic syndrome decreased as blood levels of vitamin D increased.
This study cannot be used for marketing purposes because a claim that our supplements increased HDL levels would be a health claim. However, this study did advance the science around vitamin D and heart disease risk. We now have a better understanding of how vitamin D reduces heart disease risk. This is what I call “real science” as opposed to “marketing science”,
Dr. Maki said: “Results from population studies suggest that a low serum vitamin D concentration is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular mortality, but this is the first study to evaluate the relationship between vitamin D status and cardiovascular risk factors in a group that includes a large number of vitamin D supplement users.”