There is a close link between vitamin D and cholesterol. Vitamin D, in fact, can be produced in the skin by 7-dehydrocholesterol, a provitamin deriving from the oxidation of cholesterol. This reaction takes place thanks to ultraviolet radiation from the sun’s rays. And the link between vitamin D production. And cholesterol depends on their intensity.
For this reason, sun and vitamin D are allied against high cholesterol. This is not just a hypothesis: scientific studies suggest that sun exposure may be enough to combat hypercholesterolemia by exploiting the link between vitamin D and cholesterol.
A study published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology. And Metabolism clearly demonstrates the link between vitamin D and cholesterol. The authors measured vitamin D and cholesterol in the 150 participants, divided into 2 groups based on the initial concentrations of vitamin D. Those characterized by lower concentrations were further divided into 2 groups: the first was exposed to sunlight for at least 20 minutes a day; the second received a vitamin D supplement.
It has thus been shown that the sun. And the supplement significantly increases vitamin D; however, only with exposure to the sun is there an association between vitamin D. And cholesterol, with a significant decrease in total and “bad” cholesterol.
On the other hand, a lack of sun can increase cholesterol favoring its synthesis rather than that of vitamin D. During the winter, cholesterol would tend to increase precisely for this reason; vice versa, in summer, spending time outdoors allows you to exploit the link between vitamin D and cholesterol to reduce the latter.
Vitamin D and cholesterol: the link with coronary heart disease
High cholesterol is a risk factor for diseases of the arteries that carry blood to the heart, the coronaries. In fact, cholesterol can be deposited in their walls compromising the flow of blood.
Exploiting the link between vitamin D and cholesterol by exposing the skin to the sun is only one of the tricks useful for keeping it under control: the fight against high cholesterol passes first of all from nutrition. Which should be low in saturated fat and free of trans fats. Furthermore, it can be useful to take supplements based on fermented red rice (which thanks to monacolin K contributes to the maintenance of normal cholesterol levels). Or foods containing phytosterols (which control the intestinal absorption of cholesterol). In some cases the doctor may also prescribe medications; the most used ones against high cholesterol are statins.