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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid