Low levels of vitamin D may be a cause of high blood pressure, according to a new study.
Previous research has suggested a strong link between low levels of vitamin D and high blood pressure, but a direct cause-and-effect relationship has not been shown.
Vitamin D is nicknamed the sunshine vitamin because the body produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. People also get vitamin D through foods such as eggs, milk, yogurt, tuna, salmon, cereal and orange juice.
In the new study, researchers analyzed genetic data from more than 146,500 people of European descent in Europe and North America. For each 10 percent increase in vitamin D levels, there was an 8 percent decrease in the risk of developing high blood pressure (or “hypertension”).
The study was published online June 25 in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
“In view of the costs and side effects associated with antihypertensive drugs, the potential to prevent or reduce blood pressure and therefore the risk of hypertension with vitamin D is very attractive,” study leader Elina Hypponen, a professor from the University of South Australia, said in a journal news release.
But, while the study findings hint at a causal relationship, according to the study authors, it doesn’t definitively prove the link.
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SOURCE: WebMD News from HealthDay