High Blood Pressure? Don’t Take Vitamin D for It (Video)

Too much vitamin D can create heart health hazards

vitamin d

By: Steven Nissen, MD

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Sellers of vitamin D claim the nutrient can lower your blood pressure. But don’t believe the hype.

Despite claims from the nutrition industry and non-medical personnel about vitamin D’s ability to lower blood pressure, no quality scientific study can confirm these benefits.

There are many other claims about the benefits of Vitamin D for heart health, but they are not substantiated by high quality scientific studies.

Several large government-sponsored studies are examining whether Vitamin D actually improves heart health, but results will not be available for several years.


Too much of a good thing

Vitamin D does play an integral part in the regulation of blood pressure, but it’s a complicated process. And taking too much vitamin D can lead to excess calcium or hypercalcemia.

Vitamin D enables the uptake of calcium. In theory, too-high levels potentially can result in calcium deposits ending up on blood vessel walls, in heart valves and even in the liver and kidneys.

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Our advice is not to start vitamin D as a means to lower blood pressure.

Safe vitamin D levels unclear

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin. Your body synthesizes vitamin D from exposure to natural sunlight. Most foods don’t contain significant amounts of the nutrient. So there may be a rationale to take some vitamin D, especially during times of year with less sunlight.

Unfortunately, there’s no clear consensus on exactly how much vitamin D we need, and more importantly, what levels could cause harm.

That spells problems for anyone taking large amounts of vitamin D in the hope of boosting their health. That’s treating yourself with a blindfold on.

One exception

Vitamin D does help women at risk for osteoporosis. For men, though, there’s no clear evidence of benefit. So don’t take vitamin D supplements unless your doctor advises you to do so.

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