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Information on the latest vitamin D news and research.

Find out more information on deficiency, supplementation, sun exposure, and how vitamin D relates to your health.

Beneficial role of vitamin D supplements for hypertensive patients

Sometimes important papers slip by me. When I started the Vitamin D Council almost 10 years ago, it used to be that I could read abstracts of all the vitamin D papers, everyone one of them, and obtain and read full copies of the important papers. Now I am lucky to read abstracts of all the important ones. I am not complaining; this is the inevitable progress as measured by the enormous number of vitamin D papers flooding the literature.

Take a paper from a year ago on hypertension and vitamin D, written by two Indian authors who conducted a simple but important controlled trial of vitamin D and hypertension. Drs. Goel and Lal from the Medical College in Harayne India took two hundred patients with hypertension who were taking standard antihypertensive therapy.

Goel RK, Lal H. Role of vitamin d supplementation in hypertension. Indian J Clin Biochem. 2011 Jan;26(1):88-90.

The authors split the two hundred patients into two treatment groups by assigning every other patient to standard therapy and the other 100 patients to standard therapy plus 33,000 IU of vitamin D every two weeks. Before you exclude this study as not being placebo controlled, a placebo-controlled study would have been unethical and the ethics committee of the medical school would have likely rejected the study application. Why test new therapy by itself when effective therapy already exists? Add on is the only way to go.

As hypertension already has an effective drug treatment, the other ethical way to do the study was to give standard effective treatment to both groups but add vitamin D to one of the groups. That is exactly what the researchers did to find that vitamin D reduced systolic blood pressure significantly. Furthermore, this was only about 2200 IU/day, so we can only guess what 5,000 IU/day would do.

I love their conclusion. “Thus, it is clear that vitamin D supplementation has a role in the regulation of blood pressure and that it should be added to standard antihypertensive drugs to patients with hypertension.”

This is at least the third such positive study, one using only 800 IU of vitamin D/day and the other from Professor Michal Holick’s lab, showing sun tanning beds do the same. My hat’s off to Drs. Goeel and Lal for their real clear, pull no punches, we don’t need any more research money before we can make a recommendation, conclusion to their paper.

I mean all they are saying is that vitamin D deficiency needs treatment in hypertensive patients. I can’t wait to see what 5,000 IU/day would do. Especially if patients take it every day, and not an equivalent higher dose every two weeks or every month. If patients can take antihypertensives, birth control pills, and baby aspirin every day, I see no reason they can’t take vitamin D every day, especially when you can simply double the dose the next day if you forget.

  About: John Cannell, MD

Dr. John Cannell is founder of the Vitamin D Council. He has written many peer-reviewed papers on vitamin D and speaks frequently across the United States on the subject. Dr. Cannell holds an M.D. and has served the medical field as a general practitioner, emergency physician, and psychiatrist.

2 Responses to Beneficial role of vitamin D supplements for hypertensive patients

  1. Nandyal says:

    Loved hearing about this from the subcontinent.
    I didn’t see any attempt to actually measure the Vit D levels themselves (?cost prohibitive) or to see if the groups were equally deficient. It was actually difficult to find oral Vit D supplements in India on my last trip. It was easier to get my hands on a 600K injectable dose for IM use than oral. Perhaps that’s the other reason for their choice of 33K biweekly regimen. It wasn’t stated as such but it may have been given q 2 wks IM.
    All their pts seemed only mildly hypertensive, they reduced the SBP from upper 140s in each group to lower 140s in the treatment arm. Significant but, like you said, what might a better dose have done?

  2. lclayto@me.com says:

    My blood pressure was 140 over 80 range two years ago . I started taking D3 10,000 iu a day 5000 in the morning 5000 in the evening and walking 20 min a day for 6 months then increased to 30 min , 45 min walks . Now I walk 1 hour a day and take 5000 iu D3 a day and feel great . My blood pressure has been in the 105 / over 60 range with a pulse of 62 the last few months in the morning.