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Does Vitamin D Protect Against High BP?

Early Research in Young Women Suggests It Does

More Study Needed, Experts Say

Study co-author and University of Michigan professor of epidemiology Mary Fran Sowers, PhD, agrees that the public health message advocating head-to-toe, 24/7 protection from the sun may need to change.

“We have recognized for a long time that it takes very limited sun exposure to get adequate vitamin D,” she says.

Hypertension expert Rhian M. Touyz, MD, PhD, of the University of Ottawa, says the idea that vitamin D levels decades earlier can influence blood pressure in middle age is intriguing but unproven.

“This definitely needs more study,” she tells WebMD.

Cardiologist Nieca Goldberg, MD, who directs the Women’s Heart Program at New York University, agrees.

“This research certainly raises some interesting questions,” she tells WebMD. “Vitamin D is important for the absorption of calcium and its role in bone health is proven. If we find out that it also helps prevent high blood pressure, that’s a real plus. But we aren’t there yet.”

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