Increased Risk Of High Blood Pressure May Be Linked To Vitamin D Deficiency
The lazy days of summer have passed once again, and old man winter is just around the corner. The winter will bring colder weather and less sunlight. In a society where many people rarely journey outdoors, vitamin D deficiency is a vital concern, particularly during the winter months when sunlight is minimal. According to research reported at the American Heart Association’s 63rd Pressure Research Conference, vitamin D deficiency may raise the risk of blood pressure later in life.
Researchers found that women who had a vitamin D deficiency in 1993 were 3 times more likely to experience hypertension 15 years later in 2007. The researchers controlled for age, fat mass, anti-hypertensive medication use, and smoking.
Co-author Flojaune Griffin told Science Daily that, “This study differs from others because we are looking over the course of 15 years, a longer follow-up than many studies,”. “Our results indicate that early vitamin D deficiency may increase the long-term risk of high blood pressure in women at mid-life. Our study highlights the importance of vitamin D in the risk of pressure later in life, a major health problem in the United States.”
Vitamin D deficiency may also increase the risk of certain cancers and inflammatory diseases. Hypertension and chronic inflammation often go hand-in-hand. As plaque builds up on arterial walls, the immune system begins to attack the plaque as if its a foreign invader. This triggers an inflammatory response.
The chief source of vitamin D is sunlight. Your body synthesizes vitamin D when ultraviolet B rays hit the skin. You cannot get too much vitamin D from sunlight, and sunlight furnishes the ideal form of vitamin D.
Dietary vitamin D, found in supplements and fortified foods, provides a slightly less efficient form of vitamin D and it is possible to consume too much dietary vitamin D. Some researchers suggest that the current recommendation of 400 to 600 IU is too low, and they suggest 1,000 to 5,000 IU. However, daily consumption of over 2,000 IU of vitamin D may cause side effects such as nausea, constipation, and poor appetite. Talk to your doctor before you start taking any supplements.
If possible, get 15 to 30 minutes of healthy sunlight exposure each day. Enjoy your time in the sun. Use it as your time to relax. Exposure as much of your body to the sun as you can; more exposed skin means more vitamin D. During the winter, consider supplementing vitamin D, but don’t take too much. If you suspect that you might have a vitamin D deficiency if you suffer from high blood pressure and chronic fatigue, for instance your doctor can check your vitamin D levels with a simple blood test.
Other methods to lower blood pressure naturally include a healthy low-fat diet and regular exercise. See high blood pressure exercises to learn more about three simple exercises that are guaranteed to lower your blood pressure.
And bear in mind vitamin D deficiency seems to increase the risk of high blood pressure later in life, so don’t let your children remain indoors and play video games or watch TV all day. Make them go outdoors and play.