Vitamin D has several mechanisms whereby it can regulate blood pressure such as suppression of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, direct effects on vascular cells, and lowering insulin resistance1. However, the results of supplementation studies are not very promising as already discussed.
On the other hand, a study in Georgia found that subjects receiving 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (calcitriol) experienced a 9% decrease in mean systolic blood pressure (SBP) compared placebo (p<0.001). One week after conclusion of calcitriol therapy SBP returned to pre-treatment levels. There was no reduction in blood pressure in the placebo or vitamin D(3) groups2. Calcitriol can be used only under a doctor’s supervision.
Thus, those seeking to lower blood pressure without using pharmaceutical drugs should consider other approaches in addition to vitamin D, such as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet (rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and reduced in fats and cholesterol34, less salt, sugar, not smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, obtaining potassium through diet or supplements5, and taking acetyl-L-carnitine6.
Page last edited: 09 May 2011
- Pilz, S. Tomaschitz, A. Ritz, E. Pieber, T. R. Vitamin D status and arterial hypertension: a systematic review. Nat Rev Cardiol. 2009 Oct; 6 (10): 621-30.
- Judd, S. E. Nanes, M. S. Ziegler, T. R. Wilson, P. W. Tangpricha, V. Optimal vitamin D status attenuates the age-associated increase in systolic blood pressure in white Americans: results from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Jan; 87 (1): 136-41.
- Chen, S. T. Maruthur, N. M. Appel, L. J. The effect of dietary patterns on estimated coronary heart disease risk: results from the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) trial. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2010 Sep; 3 (5): 484-9.
- Dhingra, R. Sullivan, L. Jacques, P. F. Wang, T. J. Fox, C. S. Meigs, J. B. D’Agostino, R. B. Gaziano, J. M. Vasan, R. S. Soft drink consumption and risk of developing cardiometabolic risk factors and the metabolic syndrome in middle-aged adults in the community. Circulation. 2007 Jul 31; 116 (5): 480-8.
- Brancati, F. L. Appel, L. J. Seidler, A. J. Whelton, P. K. Effect of potassium supplementation on blood pressure in African Americans on a low-potassium diet. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Arch Intern Med. 1996 Jan 8; 156 (1): 61-7.
- Ruggenenti, P. Cattaneo, D. Loriga, G. Ledda, F. Motterlini, N. Gherardi, G. Orisio, S. Remuzzi, G. Ameliorating hypertension and insulin resistance in subjects at increased cardiovascular risk: effects of acetyl-L-carnitine therapy. Hypertension. 2009 Sep; 54 (3): 567-74.