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

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid