-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, June 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Low levels of
vitamin D may be a cause of high blood pressure, according to a new
Previous research has suggested a strong link between low levels
of vitamin D and high blood pressure, but a direct cause-and-effect
relationship has not been shown.
Vitamin D is nicknamed the sunshine vitamin because the body
produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. People also get
vitamin D through foods such as eggs, milk, yogurt, tuna, salmon,
cereal and orange juice.
In the new study, researchers analyzed genetic data from more
than 146,500 people of European descent in Europe and North
America. For each 10 percent increase in vitamin D levels, there
was an 8 percent decrease in the risk of developing high blood
pressure (or "hypertension").
The study was published online June 25 in
The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
"In view of the costs and side effects associated with antihypertensive drugs, the potential to prevent or reduce blood pressure and therefore the risk of hypertension with vitamin D is very attractive," study leader Elina Hypponen, a professor from the University of South Australia, said in a journal news release.
But, while the study findings hint at a causal relationship,
according to the study authors, it doesn't definitively prove the
Further research is needed to confirm that low levels of vitamin
D can cause high blood pressure and that taking vitamin D
supplements can reduce that risk, Hypponen said.
While the study is "an important step" in understanding how
vitamin D levels may influence the development of high blood
pressure, "much remains unknown," Dr. Shoaib Afzal and Dr. Borge
Nordestgaard, from Copenhagen University Hospital and the
University of Copenhagen in Denmark, wrote in an accompanying
They said further studies and clinical trials to prove that
vitamin D supplementation can prevent or treat high blood pressure
are needed before this approach could be recommended.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains how
prevent high blood pressure.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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