A lack of vitamin D, even in generally healthy people, is linked with stiffer arteries and an inability of blood vessels to relax, research from the Emory/Georgia Tech Predictive Health Institute has found.
The results add to evidence that lack of vitamin D can lead to impaired vascular health, contributing to high blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease. Study participants who increased their vitamin D levels were able to improve vascular health and lower their blood pressure.
This was not an interventional study. So it does not prove that vitamin D lowers blood pressure. It could be that, for example, some study participants started jogging outside (where the sun raised their skin vitamin D synthesis) and the exercise improved their cardiovascular systems enough to lower their blood pressure.
Participants whose vitamin D levels increased over the next six months, either from dietary supplements or ample sun exposure, tended to improve their measures of vascular health and had lower blood pressure. Forty-two study participants with vitamin D insufficiency whose levels later went back to normal had an average drop in blood pressure of 4.6 millimeters mercury.
"This was an observational study, rather than an interventional one, and it was difficult to tease out how the people who restored their vitamin D levels got there," Al Mheid says. "We are hoping to conduct a study where we have participants take a defined regimen of vitamin D."
But if your blood pressure is too high vitamin D might help.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2011 April 05 11:31 PM Aging Diet Heart Studies|