Vitamin D is known to be important for keeping teeth and bones healthy, and supplements are already recommended for pregnant women and children and babies under five
Vitamin D is known to be important for keeping teeth and bones healthy, and supplements are already recommended for pregnant women and children and babies under five

Vitamin D supplements could help high blood pressure, scientists say

 

Charlie Cooper
Thursday 26 June 2014 00:08
Comments

Vitamin D supplements might be a cheap and effective way to treat high blood pressure, scientists have said, after a study uncovered the best evidence yet of a link between vitamin levels and hypertension.

The benefits of vitamin D for patients with high blood pressure has been suggested before, but evidence has been sketchy.

In a new study, scientists were able to determine whether low levels of vitamin D had a causal link with high blood pressure more reliably than ever before, by measuring genetic variations which affect a person’s vitamin D levels, and measuring them against blood pressure.

The research, published in The Lancet medical journal today looked at data on more than 146,000 patient records from Europe and North America.

They found that for each 10 per cent increase in vitamin D concentration, the chance of likelihood of developing high blood pressure, or hypertension, decreased by eight per cent.

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, and is normally treated with drugs such as ACE inhibitors or beta blockers, but Professor Elina Hyppönen from the University of South Australia, who led the study, said that if her findings were reinforced by further studies, vitamin D could be a game-changing alternative.

“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,” she said.

Experts said that while the study was an “important step” toward confirming vitamin D’s role in reducing blood pressure, large-scale randomised trials would be needed before it could be offered by doctors for high blood pressure patients.

Vitamin D is known to be important for keeping teeth and bones healthy, and supplements are already recommended by the Department of Health for pregnant women and children and babies under five. Exposure to sunlight is a major source of vitamin D, which can also be found in foods such as oily fish and eggs.

Thembi Nkala, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation, which part funded the study, said: “This large study brings to light another potential cause of high blood pressure, which is an impressive progression in the medical field. More studies are necessary though to better understand and confirm this link between low vitamin D levels and high blood pressure.

“There are lots of simple ways to manage your blood pressure levels including cutting down on salt, keeping physically active, maintaining a healthy body weight, keeping alcohol within recommended limits and avoiding stressors where possible.

“Medication will also be prescribed where necessary, otherwise keeping up with a heart healthy lifestyle is always key. If you are over 40 and have not had a health check why not visit your GP surgery and request one.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in