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.
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.