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Vitamin D Supplementation: A Promising Approach for the Prevention and Treatment of Strokes

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Abstract:

Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent due to lifestyle and environmental factors which limit sunlight induced vitamin D production in the skin. This “pandemic” of vitamin D deficiency is of concern because low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) have been associated with cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, infectious, autoimmune and malignant diseases. Epidemiological studies have largely but not consistently shown that vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for strokes. This is supported by associations of low 25(OH)D levels with cerebrovascular risk factors, in particular with arterial hypertension. Vitamin D has also been shown to exert neuroprotective, neuromuscular and osteoprotective effects which may reduce cognitive and functional impairments in poststroke patients. Hence, the current literature favours the notion that vitamin D supplementation is a promising approach for the prevention and treatment of strokes but accurate data from interventional studies are missing. Randomized controlled trials are therefore urgently needed to evaluate whether vitamin D supplementation reduces the incidence of strokes and improves the outcome of poststroke patients. We do, however, believe that currently published data on the multiple health benefits of vitamin D and the easy safe and inexpensive way by which it can be supplemented already argue for the prevention and treatment of vitamin D deficiency in order to reduce stroke associated morbidity and mortality.





Keywords: 25(OH)D; 25-hydroxyvitamin D; Arterial Hypertension; Atherosclerosis; Cardiovascular; Hyperparathyroidism; Inflammation; L-VSCCs; LURIC; Metabolic Syndrome; Osteoporosis; PTH; VSMC; atorvastatin; calcitriol; cerebrovascular; cognitive; dyslipidemia; glial cell linederived neurotrophic factor (GDNF); hemorrhagic stroke; hypercalcemia; ischemic stroke; neuromuscular; parathyroid hormone; stroke; thrombogram; vascular smooth muscle cells; vitamin D; vitamin D deficiency

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • Current Drug Targets aims to cover the latest and most outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of molecular drug targets e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will be devoted to a single timely topic, with series of in-depth reviews, written by leaders in the field, covering a range of current topics on drug targets. These issues will be organized and led by a guest editor who is a recognized expert in the overall topic. As the discovery, identification, characterisation and validation of novel human drug targets for drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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