Vitamin D and Statins
There are many reasons to make sure you’re getting sufficient vitamin D. Some of these reasons include bone health, reduced risk of heart attack and stroke, reduced risk of allergy and asthma, reduced himself, optimal glucose metabolism, decreasing cancer, and many others. You jhave probably never heard your doctor talk to you about vitamin D levels and what it has to do with the cholesterol lowering medications statins.
Not surprisingly, over given periods of time there are fewer deaths among people who have optimal amounts of vitamin D compared to those who do not. You might already get enough vitamin D from the sun. Current recommendations are about 15 to 30 minutes to the hands face and arms at least twice a week without sunscreen. By doing this this delivers a dose of about 20 to 25,000 international units. If you are not sure of your vitamin D levels, get your blood level checked by your doctor.
Cholesterol / LDL / Triglycerides / HDL and Vitamin D
If you use a statin medication to lower your cholesterol, it may be very helpful to maintain sufficient blood levels of vibrant vitamin D for many reasons. It is thought that statins may work better when vitamin D is optimized. Some studies show that triglycerides and LDL are lowered better in the presence of an optimized vitamin D status. Likewise HDL cholesterol is increased with an optimal vitamin D status. There are not a lot of studies of statin drugs and vitamin D levels in humans, but the ones that are out there suggest that it is best to optimize your vitamin D levels.
Stain Related Muscle Pains
Statin related muscle pain is less likely with optimized vitamin D levels. The risk of developing muscle pain (myalgia) and inflammation (myositis) while taking cholesterol lowering statin drugs appears to be greater when people have sub optimal levels of vitamin D and/or severe vitamin D deficiency. Note that these studies were done with very high doses of vitamin D ranging from 50,000 to 100,000 IU, with the goal of boosting vitamin D levels to 50 to 80 ng/ml. Based on this evidence it would seem worthwhile to make sure you have optimized vitamin D levels if taking a statin to decrease the risk of myalgias.
Exercise Performance Vitamin D and Statins
Optimizing your vitamin D levels may blunt the decline in exercise performance that is consistent with statin use. It is well-known that statins can lessen improvements in cardio-respiratory fitness that normally occur with exercise as well as reducing the content of mitochondria in muscle cells. Some studies suggest that optimized vitamin D levels may lessen these negative affects. High doses of vitamin D are used in these studies but a huge improvement in exercise performance was seen in the group who had optimized vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D levels
Finally, more vitamin D is needed to raise blood levels when taking a statin. It is hard enough to raise your vitamin D levels through diet and supplementation. And taking statins even makes it harder. It is recommended to take a higher than normal dose of vitamin D if you are taking a statin. Remember to get vitamin D from your diet by eating good sources of liver, cod liver oil, egg yolks, cheese, fatty fish, and some dairy products.