Vitamin D May Help Treat High Blood Pressure, Study Contradicts Earlier Research

Vitamin D supplement, Blood pressure

You are probably already aware of some of the benefits of vitamin D, but did you know that taking a vitamin D supplement may help lower high blood pressure?

A new study suggests that vitamin D supplementation may help fight hypertension (commonly called high blood pressure). These results contradict previous findings, which suggested that vitamin D wasn’t effective for treating high blood pressure. With these new results, researchers believe that vitamin D could be part of an effective treatment for lowering blood pressure.

Hypertension affects nearly two-thirds of Americans and contributes to more than 300,000 deaths annually. If left untreated, hypertension can lead to strokes, heart disease, and other health problems.

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Vitamin D Supplements and Blood Pressure

In the new study, researchers looked at whether vitamin D had an effect on aldosterone levels in people with hypertension. Aldosterone is a hormone that is associated with higher blood pressure levels.

The researchers studied 188 patients with hypertension who also had vitamin D levels below 30 ng/ml. Vitamin levels around 30 ng/ml are typically considered to be low, although not dangerously so.

Patients were given either 2,800 IU of vitamin D3 or a placebo, which they took daily for 58 days straight. The researchers measured aldosterone levels at both the start and end of treatment, looking to see if the vitamin D supplementation had any effect.

The study found that after 58 days of treatment, the patients taking vitamin D had a significant increase in their levels of the vitamin compared to those taking the placebo. Vitamin D levels increased by 11.5 ng/ml in those taking the supplement, compared to 0.6 ng/ml in those receiving the placebo.

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Furthermore, the patients taking vitamin D had a significant decrease in their plasma aldosterone levels compared to those receiving placebos. What this means is that by lowering aldosterone, vitamin D may help fight hypertension and high blood pressure.

A previous meta-analysis of studies concluded that vitamin D did not have any significant effect on hypertension. The results of this latest study will require more research to be confirmed.


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Sources:
Towey, A., “Study provides evidence to support vitamin D’s role in treating high blood pressure,” Vitamin D Council website, May 15, 2016; http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/blog/study-provides-evidence-to-support-vitamin-ds-role-in-treating-high-blood-pressure/.
Beveridge, L.A., et al., “Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on Blood Pressure: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis Incorporating Individual Patient Data,” JAMA Internal Medicine, 2015 May;175(5):745-54. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.0237.