The ONE organ responsible for high blood pressure.
Effects of Vitamin D on Blood Pressure
Too much of a good thingAccording to Dr. Nissen, vitamin D does play an integral part in the regulation of blood pressure, but it’s a complicated process. And taking too much vitamin D can lead to excess calcium or hypercalcemia. “Vitamin D enables the uptake of calcium,” he says. “In theory, too-high levels potentially can result in calcium deposits ending up on blood vessel walls, in heart valves and even in the liver and kidneys. So our advice is not to start vitamin D as a means to lower blood pressure.”
Safe vitamin D levels remain unclearVitamin D is an essential vitamin. Your body synthesizes vitamin D from exposure to natural sunlight. Most foods don’t contain significant amounts of the nutrient. So there may be a rationale to take some vitamin D, especially during times of year with less sunlight. “This may be true, but be aware there’s no clear consensus on exactly how much vitamin D we ultimately need, and more importantly what levels could cause harm,” Dr. Nissen says. “That spells problems for anyone taking large amounts of vitamin D in the hope of boosting their health. That’s like treating yourself with a blindfold on.”
One exception for vitamin DVitamin D does help women at risk for osteoporosis. For men, though, there’s no clear evidence of benefit. “The bottom line is, don’t take vitamin D supplements unless your doctor advises you to do so,” Dr. Nissen says.
What Are Good Dietary Sources of Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is found in many foods, and a number of common food products are “enriched” with vitamin D. Milk, cereal, and baking flour is all products that contain “added” vitamin D. Some good sources of vitamin D include:
- Salmon 3oz: 447 IU
- Milk 1cup: 115-124 IU
- Tuna 3oz: 154 IU
- Eggs: 41 IU each1
Should I Take Oral Vitamin D Supplements?
There is no evidence suggesting that oral vitamin D supplementation provides any protective effect against high blood pressure or heart disease. The evidence so far suggests that dietary sources of vitamin D are sufficient to avoid the “low vitamin” conditions that have been associated with the disease. For normal, healthy adults, a well-balanced diet can provide an adequate supply of vitamin D. People who have a documented vitamin D deficiency may require oral supplementation, but this is not for cardiovascular reasons.
The recommended daily allowance of vitamin D is:
- 1-70 years old: 15 micrograms / 600IU
- More than 70 Years old: 20 micrograms / 800IU1