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Does Vitamin D Raise Blood Pressure

Vitamin D Deficiency Induces High Blood Pressure And Accelerates Atherosclerosis In Mice

Vitamin D and Blood Pressure
  • Contributed equally to this work with: Sherry Weng, Jennifer E. Sprague

    Affiliation Department of Anesthesiology, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

  • Contributed equally to this work with: Sherry Weng, Jennifer E. Sprague

    Affiliation Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

  • Affiliation Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Lipid Research, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

  • Affiliation Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Lipid Research, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

  • Affiliation Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Lipid Research, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

  • Affiliation Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Lipid Research, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

  • * E-mail:

    Affiliations Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Lipid Research, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America, Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

Data Source And Searches

We searched PubMed and Embase databases up to June 12, 2019, for cohort studies reporting an association between blood 25D levels and risk of incident hypertension and for RCTs examining the effect of vitamin D supplementation on blood pressure. The search terms vitamin D and blood pressure were used in combination to retrieve relevant records. The records were restricted to human studies, and additional studies were retrieved through manually searching the references of identified articles and relevant systematic reviews.

High Blood Pressure And Periods

There is no consensus regarding menstruation’s effects on blood pressure. As blood pressure consistently rises and falls throughout the day, it is hard to pinpoint a direct causation, so any connection between high blood pressure and periods remains inconclusive.

An August 2012 study published in the International Journal of Science and Nature found that while female sex hormones do indeed have an effect on the cardiovascular system, the body is capable of adjusting itself and its blood pressure throughout the duration of menstruation.

If there is a connection between high blood pressure and periods, it is not yet clinically significant enough to be cause for concern.

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What Studies Say About Vitamin D And Blood Pressure

What does the scientific evidence tell us about the link between vitamin D and lower blood pressure? Some research suggests that taking vitamin D3 supplementation can help reduce lower blood pressure. For instance, a randomized, placebo-controlled study published in the American Journal of Hypertension in 2012 found that vitamin D3 supplementation significantly decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Researchers examined the effect of 3,000 IUs of vitamin D3 per day in 130 patients with hypertension.

Other studies suggest that vitamin D, including the active or inactive form , are both ineffective for lowering blood pressure. However, some of these studies were shorter and used smaller doses of vitamin D. These negative studies were also not published in recognized scientific journals.

Can Vitamin D Prevent High Blood Pressure

Does Vitamin D Affect Your Blood Pressure During Exercise ...

Maybe the evidence is not entirely clear. Though the role of vitamin D in blood pressure and heart health has been the topic of considerable investigation since at least the mid-1980s, the conclusions of the research studies are difficult to interpret. While it is known that both the blood vessels and the heart have large numbers of vitamin D receptors which means that vitamin D is providing some function in regulating these issues figuring out what these receptors do has been difficult. Studies on the action of vitamin D sometimes appear to contradict each other, and sometimes they yield data that cannot be accurately interpreted.

One study found that administering vitamin D to older adults with existing high blood pressure caused both the systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure to decrease. The same study also found that giving both vitamin D and calcium together caused even larger decreases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. These data suggest that vitamin D and calcium somehow work together to cause a reduction in blood pressure and that high levels of calcium promote the blood pressure reducing action of vitamin D. Curiously, though, when the study participants were examined more carefully, it was found that this only worked in people who had relatively high calcium levels to start. In people who had low calcium levels at the beginning, neither vitamin D nor vitamin D plus calcium was very effective at lowering blood pressure.

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What Causes Vitamin D Deficiency

You can become deficient in vitamin D for different reasons:

  • You don’t get enough vitamin D in your diet
  • You don’t absorb enough vitamin D from food
  • You don’t get enough exposure to sunlight.
  • Your liver or kidneys cannot convert vitamin D to its active form in the body.
  • You take medicines that interfere with your body’s ability to convert or absorb vitamin D

How To Check And Maintain Healthy Vitamin D Levels

Ask your doctor to check your vitamin D level. Youll take a simple blood test called 25- hydroxyvitamin D. The measurement is nanograms per milliliter, and its generally recommended to keep your levels between 30 and 60 ng/ml.

Dr. Michos suggests that to maintain healthy levels most adults on average probably need 1,000 to 2,000 International Unit a day. Though she adds that someone who lives in southern California and spends a fair amount of time in the sun might have healthy levels and not need supplements at all.

Conversely, women with levels well below 30 ng/ml might need a carefully monitored prescription of up to 50,000 IU per week for several weeks, followed by a lower over-the-counter dosage when vitamin levels are back to normal.

Although you can find vitamin D in fatty fish such as salmon, fortified orange juice, and milk, sunlight is the strongest natural source for vitamin D. Dr. Michos explains that getting about 10 minutes of moderate summer sun exposure can supply you with 3,000 to 5,000 IU of vitamin D. You would have to drink approximately 30 glasses of milk to match that amount.

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The Benefits Of Boosting Vitamin D

A direct link has yet to be formed between higher vitamin D levels and lower cardiovascular risk. But its important not to overlook other possible benefits.

While we dont know for sure whether treating with vitamin D can prevent a heart attack, I know at the very least vitamin D is good for the bones, Dr. Michos points out. So I do recommend screening and treating, particularly because women tend to have more fractures and osteoporosis than men.

Were still a few years away from clinical trials that explore the possible link between taking vitamin D supplements to achieve higher vitamin D levels, and lower cardiovascular risk.

Johns Hopkins Women’s Cardiovascular Health Center

The Johns Hopkins Womens Cardiovascular Health Center provides education, comprehensive treatment and diagnostic services to prevent and manage heart disease in women.

Do Vitamins Raise Blood Pressure

Vitamin D and High Blood Pressure

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More Strategies To Help Control Blood Pressure

There are many factors that can positively or negatively affect your blood pressure. As discussed, your diet plays an important role in the nutrients supplied to your arterial system. Several other strategies you may consider include:

Exercise more: The American Heart Association recommends activity and exercise to help manage blood pressure. Studies have also demonstrated the effectiveness of exercise, including as a preventive strategy. Regular activity can lower blood pressure, reduce heart rate, and prevent remodeling from high blood pressure that is pathological and increases the risk of heart failure and mortality.

Reduce stress:The American Heart Association also recommends managing your stress to help control high blood pressure. Stress stimulates the nervous system to produce hormones that cause vasoconstriction. This may cause short-term increases in blood pressure. Chronic stress can also affect sleep patterns, dietary habits, and motivation to exercise, all of which are key factors in raising blood pressure. Acute stress is also associated with broken heart syndrome, which is a potentially life-threatening condition that mimics a heart attack.

Sauna bathing: Sometimes some of the simplest strategies can have a tremendous impact. Sweating in a sauna can help expel toxins, improve blood circulation, and improve mitochondrial function. In a video lecture, Rhonda Patrick reviews how sauna bathing can be used as an exercise mimetic to increase your longevity.


Risk For Bias Assessment

We used the 9-star NewcastleOttawa Scale to evaluate the quality of individual cohort studies the scale is based on 8 aspects covering selection, comparability, and outcome domains . Meanwhile, we assessed the risk of bias for each trial using 7 fields from The Cochrane Collaborations tool: random sequence generation, allocation concealment, blinding of participants and personnel, blinding of outcome assessment, incomplete outcome data, selective reporting, and other bias . Summary assessments for trials were assigned as high,low, or unclear, according to the risk bias in each outcome. Disagreements were resolved through group discussion. Publication bias was assessed with Eggers test .

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Why Do I Need Vitamin D And How Do I Get It

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. Calcium is one of the main building blocks of bone. Vitamin D also has a role in your nervous, muscle, and immune systems.

You can get vitamin D in three ways: through your skin, from your diet, and from supplements. Your body forms vitamin D naturally after exposure to sunlight. But too much sun exposure can lead to skin aging and skin cancer, so many people try to get their vitamin D from other sources.

How Can I Get More Vitamin D

Can vitamin D deficiency cause high blood pressure?

There are a few foods that naturally have some vitamin D:

  • Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel
  • Beef liver
  • Mushrooms
  • Egg yolks

You can also get vitamin D from fortified foods. You can check the food labels to find out whether a food has vitamin D. Foods that often have added vitamin D include

  • Milk
  • Other dairy products, such as yogurt
  • Soy drinks

Vitamin D is in many multivitamins. There are also vitamin D supplements, both in pills and a liquid for babies.

If you have vitamin D deficiency, the treatment is with supplements. Check with your health care provider about how much you need to take, how often you need to take it, and how long you need to take it.

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Should I Take Oral Vitamin D Supplements

There is no evidence suggesting that oral vitamin D supplementation provides any protective effect against high blood pressure or heart disease. The evidence so far suggests that dietary sources of vitamin D are sufficient to avoid the low vitamin conditions that have been associated with the disease. For normal, healthy adults, a well-balanced diet can provide an adequate supply of vitamin D. People who have a documented vitamin D deficiency may require oral supplementation, but this is not for cardiovascular reasons.

  • 1-70 years old: 15 micrograms / 600IU
  • More than 70 Years old: 20 micrograms / 800IU

Does Vitamin D Affect Your Blood Pressure During Exercise

A surprising research finding isnt what it first seems.

Man Bites Dog is always a more intriguing headline than the other way aroundso, in flipping through the abstracts from last months American College of Sports Medicine conference, it was inevitable that my interest would be piqued by the words In contrast to our hypothesis… As a journalist, I like surprises.

The abstract in question was from a team at the University of Connecticut and Hartford Hospital . The researchers were investigating the role of vitamin D in blood pressure, both at rest and during maximal exerciseand to their surprise, they found that their subjects with the highest vitamin D levels also had the highest blood pressure.

Despite vitamin Ds current reputation as a super-panacea, there has been some evidence in recent years that more isnt always better. Could blood pressure be the source of these apparent negative effects? I contacted Amanda Zaleski, the studys lead author, to find out.

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But if vitamin D doesnt help resting blood pressure, maybe it still helps more subtle traits like blood pressure during exercise, which would still be an important finding for helping people who are currently healthy avoid future high blood pressure. Thats what the new study investigated.

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How Safe Is It To Take High Doses Of Vitamin C

Despite evidence that taking 5 times more than the RDA for vitamin C can lower blood pressure, is it practical or safe to do so? Vitamin C supplements are safe for most people, although taking 5 times the recommended daily dose could be problematic for some. For example, consuming high doses of vitamin C increases the risk of developing calcium oxalate kidney stones in people already at high risk. If youve had kidney stones in the past, its best to avoid consuming a high dose. According to WebMD.com, taking over 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C in supplement form daily elevates the risk of kidney stone recurrence. The tolerable upper limit for vitamin C is 2,000 milligrams daily.

Another problem with taking high doses of vitamin C are the digestive side effects. Taking vitamin C supplements can cause digestive upset, nausea, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. The tolerance to taking vitamin C supplements varies between individuals. You might experience no problems taking 500 milligrams of vitamin C daily while someone else might have diarrhea.

Diabetics should be wary of consuming vitamin C as a supplement too since vitamin C supplements can trigger a rise in blood glucose in some diabetics. Plus, studies show that taking over 300 milligrams of vitamin C each day may increase the risk of dying of heart disease in diabetics.

What Is Vitamin D

Blood Pressure, Vitamin D, and the Sun

Vitamin D acts as a hormone, regulating more than 200 genes throughout the body. It does an impressive amount of work. For example, vitamin D:

  • Keeps abnormal cells from multiplying in breast and colon tissues
  • Helps regulate blood pressure in the kidney
  • Helps regulate blood sugar levels in the pancreas

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Can Vitamin D Cause High Blood Pressure

Sheps, M.D. It’s long been known that getting too little of vitamin D weakens bones. But when it comes to heart health, the role vitamin D may play is less clear. Vitamin D deficiency may be linked to heart disease and an increased risk of high blood pressure .

Correspondingly, can you take vitamin D with blood pressure meds?

Based on these findings, authors conclude that vitamin D supplements should not be used as treatment for high blood pressure. Researchers also argue against routine vitamin D measurements in patients with hypertension, since treating low vitamin D levels may have little effect on overall blood pressure levels.

Secondly, what vitamins should you not take with high blood pressure? Supplements to Avoid when Dealing with High Blood Pressure

  • St.
  • Echinacea: Although echinacea is considered helpful for reducing cold and flu symptoms, some evidence indicates that it also changes how medications are metabolized.
  • Ephedra: This supplement, used in weight-loss products, is banned in the United States because of safety concerns.

Furthermore, can vitamin b12 cause high blood pressure?

An elevated plasma homocysteine level is an established independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Moreover, a higher plasma homocysteine level has been linked with higher blood pressure. Dietary intake of vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid has been reported to reduce the plasma homocysteine level.

What vitamins should I take for high blood pressure?

  • Folic acid.

Regulation Of The Renin Angiotensin System

The renin angiotensin system is a regulatory cascade that plays a critical role in the regulation of blood pressure, electrolyte, and plasma volume homeostasis. Inappropriate stimulation of the RAS has been associated with hypertension. Li et al. demonstrated that vitamin D is a potent endocrine suppressor of renin biosynthesis to regulate the RAS. Mice lacking vitamin D receptor have elevated production of renin and angiotensin II, leading to hypertension, cardiac hypertrophy, and increased water intake. These abnormalities can be prevented by treatment with an ACE inhibitor or AT1 receptor antagonist. Vitamin D suppression of renin expression is independent of calcium metabolism, the volume and salt-sensing mechanisms, and the angiotensin II feedback regulation. In normal mice, vitamin D deficiency stimulates renin expression, whereas injection of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 reduces renin synthesis. In cell cultures, 1,252D directly suppresses renin gene transcription by a VDR-dependent mechanism. Thus, vitamin D-deficiency may increase the risk of hypertension, and vitamin D supplementation may be beneficial to the cardiovascular system. In a transgenic mouse model with mice over-expressing the human vitamin D receptor in renin-producing cells, Kong et al. demonstrated that suppression of renin expression by 1,252 D in vivo is independent of parathyroid hormone and calcium .

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Preventing High Blood Pressure With Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an important nutrient that regulates several of the bodys metabolic actions. Vitamin D is produced in the deep layers of the skin using energy from sunlight. Because the body can make vitamin D, it is not considered to be an essential nutrient, though a significant portion of the vitamin D needed by the human body does come from the diet.

Vitamin D, working with parathyroid hormone, is primarily responsible for regulating the amount of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. Vitamin D also encourages the formation of bone tissue and is known to stimulate the production of cells in the immune system.

A growing body of research suggests that vitamin D may also play a role in blood pressure regulation and heart health. It is known, for example, that cases of high blood pressure increase during the winter and in places that are further from the equator — both are situations where a decrease in available sunlight leads to lower vitamin D production.


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