December 16, 2020

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

Too much vitamin D can create heart health hazards

man performing a blood pressure check

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


Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

According to cardiologist Steven Nissen, MD, 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 aren’t substantiated by high quality scientific studies,” Dr. Nissen says.

In fact, a study involving 25,871 participants published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2019 concluded that vitamin D did not result in a lower incidence of cardiovascular events when compared to participants given a placebo.

Too much of a good thing

According to Dr. Nissen, 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,” he says. “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. So our advice is not to start vitamin D as a means to lower blood pressure.”

Safe vitamin D levels remain 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.

“This may be true, but be aware there’s no clear consensus on exactly how much vitamin D we ultimately need, and more importantly what levels could cause harm,” Dr. Nissen says. “That spells problems for anyone taking large amounts of vitamin D in the hope of boosting their health. That’s like treating yourself with a blindfold on.”

One exception for vitamin D

Vitamin D does help women at risk for osteoporosis. For men, though, there’s no clear evidence of benefit.


“The bottom line is, don’t take vitamin D supplements unless your doctor advises you to do so,” Dr. Nissen says.

Related Articles

beet and carrot juice in a glass surrounded by beets and carrots
February 1, 2024
Can Certain Drinks Lower Your Blood Pressure?

While not magic elixirs, some drinks like beet juice and skim milk may help keep numbers down

Person using electronic blood pressure monitor at home.
November 6, 2023
Buying a Home Blood Pressure Monitor? 6 Things You Need To Know

Steer clear of bells and whistles — simple, affordable monitors are all you really need

Closeup of a person pouring berberine supplements into their hand.
June 18, 2023
What To Know About Berberine: Benefits, Uses and Side Effects

The natural supplement may help with weight loss, lower blood sugar and protect your heart

Person waking up tired.
February 12, 2023
How a Lack of Sleep Contributes to High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure naturally dips when we sleep — and that dipping is crucial for a healthy heart

Closeup of older business person yawning into hand.
November 13, 2022
Can High Blood Pressure Make You Feel Tired?

Fatigue is more likely caused by low blood pressure or another condition

Drawing of a man sitting in front of a computer surrounded by stacks of paper
July 20, 2022
Do Stress and Anxiety Cause High Blood Pressure?

Lifestyle changes can reduce your risk of hypertension and other heart issues

A spoonful of salt
February 17, 2022
Why Too Much Salt Can Be Bad for You

Excess salt and sodium consumption is a worldwide health concern

high blood pressure and COVID
December 14, 2021
High Blood Pressure and COVID-19: What’s the Connection?

And if yours has been a little higher, learn how to get it under control

Trending Topics

close up of keto gummies
Do Keto Gummies Work for Weight Loss? Are They Safe?

Research is inconclusive whether or not these supplements are helpful

Person in yellow tshirt and blue jeans relaxing on green couch in living room reading texts on their phone.
Here’s How Many Calories You Naturally Burn in a Day

Your metabolism may torch 1,300 to 2,000 calories daily with no activity

Older person postioned sideways showing dowager hump.
Dowager’s Hump: What It Is and How To Get Rid of It

The hump at the base of your neck may be caused by osteoporosis or poor posture