Vitamin D can help prevent hypertension
Concerned about high blood pressure and hypertension? It's time to go get some sun, or at least some more vitamin D. In a new study from University College London, people with low blood levels of vitamin D had a much higher risk of developing hypertension; those who had high levels of the vitamin were at a lower risk and generally had reduced blood pressure. The study found that for every 10 percent increase in vitamin D concentration in the blood, the risk of developing hypertension fell by 8.1 percent.
By compiling 35 different studies from across Europe and North America, the study authors were able to analyze the effects of vitamin D on hypertension in more than 155,000 people. The researchers were able to observe concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D – 25(OH)D – and link it with blood pressure. While the researchers found that as 25(OH)D concentrations went up, risk of developing hypertension went down, the authors of the study pointed out that correlation between these factors does not necessarily mean causation – though the evidence appears to point to it.
Vitamin D deficiency is a common problem in the Western world, according to previous studies. The vitamin can be consumed by eating or drinking supplements or by exposing skin to the sun, which triggers the body's production of vitamin D.
In addition to the association to hypertension, vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to a heightened risk of autoimmune diseases, cancer, type 2 diabetes, infectious diseases, cardiovascular disease and obesity.