Vitamins have received a lot of flak in the press, after experts said they were a waste of money, may be harmful and didn't work. However a new study sheds new light on whether this may be true.
The Independent reported that the benefits of vitamin D for patients with high blood pressure has been suggested before, but there has been a lack of evidence to back it up.
In this new study that looked at 146,000 across Europe and America published in The Lancet, scientists investigated whether low vitamin D levels affected hypertension by measuring genetic variations which affect a person’s vitamin D levels, and measuring them against blood pressure.
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What did they find?
"For each 10% increase in vitamin D concentration, the chance of likelihood of developing high blood pressure, or hypertension, decreased by 8%."
The findings could revolutionise how hypertension is treated. Currently, people have to take ACE inhibitors and/or beta blockers, which are said to have side effects such as dizziness and constipation.
Professor Elina Hyppönen from the University of South Australia, who led the study, said: “In view of the costs and side effects associated with antihypertensive drugs, the potential to prevent or reduce blood pressure and therefore the risk of hypertension with vitamin D is very attractive."
The authors acknowledge there is more work to be done.