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.
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.
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.
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.