A new study has shown that vitamin D deficiency can lead to high blood pressure (hypertension). The study also suggests vitamin D supplements could be an effective treatment in some cases of hypertension.
Hypertension is a risk factor for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
The Mendelian randomisation study used genetic data involving more than 146,500 Europeans and examined two genetic variants that influence circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH)D concentrations – a method normally used to assess vitamin D status.
The research showed for each 10% rise in 25(OH)D concentration there was a fall in diastolic blood pressure (-0.29 mm Hg) and systolic blood pressure (-0.37 mm Hg), and an 8.1% drop in the risks of developing hypertension.
"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 study author Professor Elina Hypponen from the University of South Australia.
Earlier studies have suggested a link between vitamin D deficiency and development of autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis.
People with darker skin, people who are confined to their homes and those who belong to northern latitude countries are at higher risk of getting vitamin D deficient.
He also suggests taking 400 and 1,000 international units of vitamin D daily.
The study featured in the journal The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.