Submitted by: Darrell Miller
Recent research has proven that healthy vitamin D levels may protect the body against osteoporosis, cancer, and multiple sclerosis. There is now evidence that suggests that vitamin D may help protect against a potentially dangerous rise in blood pressure which occurs in some people as they get older. A study that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition had researchers finding that as many as 60 percent of whites and more than 90 percent of blacks who participated in the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey had insufficient blood levels of vitamin D.
Vitamin D can be obtained through the diet or produced in the skin, thanks to the effects of the sun. Researchers also investigated the association between vitamin D, blood pressure, and age. This investigation found that people with lower blood levels of vitamin D had significantly higher increases in systolic blood pressure as they aged than did those people who had healthy levels. Actually, the age-related rise in blood pressure turned out to be 20 percent lower in those people who had healthy vitamin D levels, as oppose to those people who did not. This suggests that vitamin D deficiency may play a critical role in high blood pressure development.
Many other studies have suggested that there is a role for vitamin D in reducing blood pressure. One of these studies showed that daily doses of about 400 I.U. of vitamin D, along with about 600 milligrams of calcium were able to significantly reduce blood pressure in elderly women by more than nine percent after just eight weeks. However, treatment with 600 milligrams of calcium alone reduced blood pressure by only four percent. According to Vin Tangpricha MD, PhD., an assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Lipids at Emory University School of Medecine, there is not enough evidence that vitamin D prevents hypertension available, however, because vitamin D insufficiency is highly prevalent throughout the United States, it may be a good idea to take a vitamin D supplement solely because of the strong evidence on vitamin D s ability to prevent osteoporotic fractures.
Dr. Tangpricha, along with his colleagues, hopes that there are improved methods to detect and treat vitamin D insufficiency in adults, especially blacks, in the United States. It has been noted that further studies are needed in order to determine vitamin D s effect on blood pressure. Additionally, it needs to be determined if giving all patients vitamin D will help lower blood pressure. Those people who have a family history of other risk factors that are associated with high blood pressure, such as being older than sixty-five, should have their blood pressure checked regularly. These people should also talk with their doctor about dietary factors that may help to protect against this condition.
Be sure to look for more studies and information on the effects of supplemental vitamin D on both white and black habitants of the United States to help battle vitamin D deficiency. To learn more about supplemental vitamin D, contact your local health food provider.
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