Is your unexplained high blood pressure related to a vitamin D deficiency?

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a concerning health condition that can lead to various cardiovascular diseases and, in severe cases, death. Although vitamin D is best known for its role in maintaining bone health, its relationship to blood pressure regulation is a topic of debate among researchers.

A vitamin D deficiency occurs when there is not enough vitamin D in your body. This deficiency weakens the bones, but the link with blood pressure is not entirely clear. However, research has shed light on the possible link between vitamin D deficiency and high blood pressure.

Studies suggest that vitamin D may influence the body’s regulation of blood pressure by affecting certain chemicals and keeping blood vessels healthy and flexible. When vitamin D levels are low, the arteries can become stiff, making it harder for blood to flow.

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A study published in the journal Cureus found that for every 10 percent increase in 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations, the risk of hypertension decreases by 8.1 percent. While this association doesn’t necessarily mean it’s alarming, it does suggest a possible link between vitamin D deficiency and high blood pressure.

The importance of vitamin D screening
Screening for vitamin D deficiency is critical, especially for people with brown or black skin, because they have higher levels of melanin, making it harder for their skin to produce vitamin D from sunlight. Individuals who do not spend much time in the sun, older adults, and people with certain health conditions that affect vitamin D absorption may also benefit from screening.

What you can do
If you are concerned about your vitamin D levels and its possible impact on your blood pressure, have a simple blood test to check your vitamin D levels.

Increasing your vitamin D intake may include spending more time in the sun or consuming foods rich in vitamin D, such as eggs, milk and cheese. However, it is important to note that while vitamin D is essential for overall good health, more is not always better. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, adults should aim for 600-800 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day, with an upper limit of 4,000 IU per day.