Low levels of vitamin D may be tied to higher blood pressure in fair-skinned people, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
In this study, over 7,000 participants of the third National Health and Examination Survey had their blood levels of vitamin D analyzed to look for an association with blood pressure.
The researchers found 61 percent of fair-skinned people and 92 percent of dark-skinned people had vitamin D deficiency.
Fair-skinned people with normal vitamin D levels had a 20 percent lower increase in blood pressure as compared with those of similar racial background but lower vitamin D levels. This relationship was not found in dark-skinned people.Previous research has shown that vitamin D combined with calcium could improve blood pressure. This is the first study to look at blood pressure and vitamin D.
The authors say these findings don't provide direct evidence that vitamin D supplementation will lower blood pressure. Further investigation is needed to determine how vitamin D affects the health of different ethnic groups.
According to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, about five million Canadians have high blood pressure, a known risk factor for heart disease. Of those people with high blood pressure, an estimated 40 percent are not aware that they have the condition.
High blood pressure can be controlled with nutrition strategies that focus on weight reduction and increased intake of certain foods. To find out more about how diet affects your health, check out Leslie Beck's Foods that Fight Disease.
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