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Does Vitamin D Protect Against High BP?

Early Research in Young Women Suggests It Does

Vitamin D: The Super Vitamin continued...

And there is no consensus regarding the optimal supplement dosage of vitamin D. Most multivitamins contain 400 international units (IU) of the vitamin, but Griffin says much of the current research suggests that the optimal dosage may be closer to 10 times this amount.

“It may be time to consider the possibility that we need a more nuanced public health message about sun exposure so that we are not putting people at risk for skin cancer, but are also alerting them to the fact that a few minutes of exposure before they put on sunscreen may be a good thing,” she says.

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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