Scientists claim that vitamin D supplements could reduce high blood pressure in vitamin D deficient patients.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is known as the ‘silent killer’, because it rarely has obvious symptoms. Around 30% of people in England have high blood pressure, increasing their risk of a heart attack or a stroke.
There is a wide range of blood pressure lowering medicines to choose from, but most can produce side effects.
Researchers at Holstebro Hospital in Denmark tested the effects of vitamin D supplements on 112 patients with high blood pressure for 20 weeks. Of these 112 participants, 92 were found to have low levels of vitamin D at the start of the study.
Those taking the vitamin D supplements experienced a significant reduction in central systolic blood pressure compared to the placebo group. Systolic blood pressure is the pressure of the blood when your heart beats to pump blood out.
Their findings, presented at the European Society of Hypertension conference in London, showed that the systolic blood pressure of participants was reduced by an average 6.8 mmHg, and the diastolic blood pressure was reduced by 1.7mmHgi.
Study leader Dr Thomas Larsen said: “Probably the majority of Europeans have vitamin D deficiency, and many of these will also have high blood pressure.
"What our results suggest is that hypertensive patients can benefit from vitamin D supplementation if they have vitamin D insufficiency."
"Vitamin D would not be a cure for hypertension in these patients, but it may help, especially in the winter months. However, it is important to stress, that this was a small study, and that larger studies are needed to provide solid evidence."
High blood pressure is considered a chronic condition by some insurers, so it may not be covered by private medical insurance. For more information, talk to one of our advisors or compare health insurance quotes online.
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