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Commentary |

Vitamin D and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes:  Why the Evidence Falls Short

Sue A. Shapses, PhD; JoAnn E. Manson, MD, DrPH
JAMA. 2011;305(24):2565-2566. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.881.
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Vitamin D has received widespread attention for its potential role in preventing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Several epidemiological studies have suggested that individuals with low blood levels of vitamin D have increased risks of heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and diabetes. Yet the evidence that vitamin D prevents cardiometabolic outcomes played an inconsequential role in determining the population needs for vitamin D in the 2011 report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM).1 How is it possible that such a large body of evidence had so little influence on the recommended intakes for vitamin D? This commentary, authored by 2 members of the IOM Committee, provides a critical appraisal of the relevant evidence, explains why the research was found to be insufficient by the IOM, and identifies future research needs on this topic.

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