What is Hypertension?
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure is a medical condition, which tends to linger for a longer periods. Here, the pressure of the blood flowing through the arteries shoots up.
Hypertension is a blood pressure higher than 140 over 90 mmHg (millimetres of mercury).
Initially, the symptoms that develop are not that prominent, but, gradually, as the disease progresses, the symptoms come into light effectively.
What causes hypertension?
Modern lifestyle factors like physical inactivity, salt-rich diets, processed and fatty foods and alcohol/ tobacco use.
What happens when you have Hypertension?
Hypertension occurring over longer periods may lead to the development of serious diseases like heart disease, coronary artery disease, stroke and chronic kidney disease.
Such high pressure forcing the blood through the arteries will lead to the stretching in the diameter of the arteries. Stretched arteries can form scars, which catch debris such as cholesterol, calcium or blood cells. An accumulation of such debris can block the arteries. This results in constriction of the arteries and as a result, less blood is able to travel throughout your body. This leads to extra stress on your heart as it will have to work harder to transport blood to different parts of your body. This may also lead to serious complications like stroke.
What Research has to say about connection between Hypertension and Vitamin D?
Research shows that there is a significant link between vitamin D and hypertension. People with lower levels of vitamin D levels have a tendency to develop hypertension.
In the year 2014, a research study was performed, where it was observed that lower levels of Vitamin D may be responsible for causing High Blood Pressure problems.
Previous research that was carried out had suggested a strong connection between low levels of vitamin D and high blood pressure, but a direct cause-and-effect relationship was not exhibited.
Vitamin D, nicknamed ‘The Sunshine Vitamin’, produced by the body when the skin is exposed to the sunlight is also obtained through certain foods like eggs, milk, yogurt, tuna, salmon, cereal and orange juice.
In a novel study that was published online on June 25 in ‘The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology’, researchers analysed a genetic data from more than 146,500 people of European descent in Europe and North America.
For every 10 percent increase in the levels of vitamin D, there was an 8 percent decrease in the risk of developing high blood pressure / hypertension.
Further research in this area is needed to confirm that low levels of vitamin D can cause high blood pressure and that taking vitamin D supplements can reduce that risk.
Further studies and clinical trials are required to prove those vitamins D supplementations can prevent or treat high blood pressure are needed before this approach could be recommended.
An experiment conducted in 2012 in Denmark looked at the effects of vitamin D supplements on lowering blood pressure in people with hypertension. For 20 weeks, people either took 3,000 IU per day of vitamin D or a placebo pill. The researchers measured a few different types of blood pressure and found that:
The people in the vitamin D group lowered their blood pressure more than the people getting the dummy/placebo pill.
People in the vitamin D group who had low levels of vitamin D at the beginning of the study had a bigger reduction in their blood pressures after incorporating Vitamin D in their supplements.
Vitamin D may be more effective in lowering blood pressure in people who have low levels of vitamin D.
Further research still needs to be carried out in this area for strong confirmation between the links of Vitamin D and blood pressure.
An experiment was conducted in the year 2013 in Italy observed at the role of vitamin D supplementation on regulating the blood pressure system in the body. A small group of people suffering from hypertension were given 25,000 IU per week of vitamin D for a total of 8 weeks. The researchers found:
Vitamin D levels increased throughout the study.
The blood pressure system was greatly reduced.
Hence the studies conducted suggested at a hint that vitamin D may help to reduce risk of hypertension.
Research has shown that people with higher vitamin D levels are more likely to have lower blood pressure and are less likely to develop hypertension.
Studies have shown that taking a vitamin D supplement can reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension.
Some research has shown that taking a vitamin D supplement helps regulate the blood pressure system in the body.
However, not all trials show reduced blood pressure after taking vitamin D. This means that we can’t say for sure if vitamin D is a main factor in preventing hypertension or in lowering blood pressure.
More experiments are needed to say for sure whether or not vitamin D may help to lower blood pressure and reduce risk of hypertension.
But most of the research that is done as mentioned above does suggest a strong link between appropriate levels of Vitamin D reducing the risk of Hypertension.