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Fact about The Wachters Blend of Sea Vegetation:

More Vitamin D May Lower High Blood Pressure

More Vitamin D May Lower High Blood Pressure

New research links vitamin D deficiency to elevated hypertension risk.

MONDAY, June 10, 2013 ? It appears that the advantages of the sunshine vitamin are never-ending, with high blood pressure joining the long list of conditions and diseases that can benefit from increasing vitamin D intake, according to new research presented today at the European Society of Human Genetics in Paris.

Researchers from the University College London examined 35 studies ? the world's largest review ever to examine the relationship between hypertension and vitamin D ? and found that of the 155,000 participants accounted for throughout Europe and North America, those who had higher levels of vitamin D also had decreased blood pressure.

"Our study strongly suggests that some cases of cardiovascular disease could be prevented through vitamin D supplements or food fortification," said Vimal Karani Santhanakrishnan, PhD, of the Institute of Child Health at the University College London. "Our new data provide further support for the important non-skeletal effects of vitamin D."

By tracking genetic sequencing in study participants, the researchers were able to analyze individuals' vitamin D levels. They observed that for every 10 percent increase in vitamin D concentration, there was just more than an eight percent decrease in hypertension risk.

"Even with the likely presence of unobserved confounding factors, the approach we followed, known as Mendelian randomization, allows us to draw conclusions about causality because the genetic influence on disease is not affected by confounding," Dr. Karani Santhanakrishnan said. "To put it in simple terms, by using this approach we can determine the cause and effect and be pretty sure that we've come to the right conclusion on the subject."

The exploration of vitamin D's potential is ongoing and has been consistently groundbreaking in the health community. "I think that vitamin D is another important piece to the puzzle," said Kevin R. Campbell, MD, FACC, a cardiologist at UNC Rex Health Care. "It is an essential nutrient that will provide strong bones and a healthy heart through the prevention of hypertension."

In addition to vitamin D's role in maintaining balance in blood vessel walls, Dr. Campbell suggests that vitamin D's managerial relationship with both insulin and renin, a hormone produced in the kidneys, could also explain its possible effect on blood pressure control. "All of these explanations are a bit indirect but certainly suggest that there is a bigger relationship between vitamin D and blood pressure than previously thought," said Campbell.

"There have been multiple studies that have shown that vitamin D can reduce systolic blood pressure readings by four to 10 points," he added. "This is a significant reduction, particularly in the setting of other blood pressure reducing interventions."

Whether from the sun, supplements, or fortified foods like cereal and cheese, vitamin D has been hailed for its health-promoting effects on bone maintenance, calcium regulation, immunity support, and cell growth. Other recent studies have also speculated its role in reducing risk for multiple sclerosis, cancer, and dementia.

Though the researchers stress their finding is just observational, not causal, they hope it will welcome more studies that will further the understanding of the effects of vitamin D on many other conditions like high cholesterol and diabetes. "We believe that we still have a lot to find out about the effect of vitamin D deficiency on health, and we now know that we have the tools to do so," asserted Karani Santhanakrishnan.

"I think observational studies are important to suggesting relationships," Campbell stated. "However, before we can make sweeping changes in treatment recommendations and guidelines, we must have randomized controlled (RCT) clinical trials. These observational studies are essential to the design of RCT in the future."

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