News / Health

Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to High Blood Pressure

FILE - Sun shines through trees.
FILE - Sun shines through trees.
Jessica Berman

People who are low in the “sunshine vitamin,” better known as Vitamin D, appear to be at higher risk for developing high blood pressure, known as hypertension. The author of a new study says taking a daily Vitamin D supplement could reduce the likelihood of high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease and diabetes.

Researchers, led by University of South Australia nutritionist Elina Hyppönen, conducted a population study of nearly 150,000 Europeans, looking at two genetic variants that reflected their Vitamin D status.

Investigators found people with a particular gene had more Vitamin D and a reduced risk of high blood pressure.

“And I think that this is a potentially important finding, because it’s likely that avoiding a Vitamin D deficiency, we can also lower the risk of developing hypertension,” said Hyppönen.

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a risk factor for heart disease and diabetes.  Studies have shown that Vitamin D deficiency may play a role in the development of autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis.  This is the first study to strongly suggest its link to hypertension.

According to the Vitamin D Council, those at highest risk of not getting enough of the nutrient include people with darker skin, those who spend a lot of time indoors, people who live in northern latitude countries, seniors, pregnant women and those who are overweight.

Hyppönen says blood tests for Vitamin D are expensive and not routinely done.  So, to make sure one is getting enough Vitamin D, she recommends spending some time outdoors.   

“We can be pretty confident that we do not have severe problems of Vitamin D deficiency if we are exposed to some sunlight and we do not use excessive amounts of sun lotion. And also if we are consuming Vitamin D-fortified foods,” said Hyppönen.

Such foods include salmon, wild-caught mackerel, mushrooms, cod liver oil, tuna, sardines and dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt and eggs.

In addition, Hyppönen said, it could not hurt to take a Vitamin D supplement, between 400 and 1,000 international units each day.

The study linking Vitamin D deficiency and hypertension is published in the journal The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.  

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid