Many studies have linked low levels of vitamin D to high blood pressure. But new research has found taking vitamin D supplements does not appear to improve blood pressure or cardiovascular health in older patients with hypertension.
The study — led by Miles D. Witham of the University of Dundee, Scotland — involved 159 patients with isolated systolic hypertension (a type of high blood pressure) who were randomly assigned to take vitamin D supplements or receive an inactive placebo for one year.
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Researchers measured differences in blood pressure and other markers of cardiovascular health during the study.
After 12 months, the results showed no significant differences between the two groups. But the researchers, who reported their findings in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, suggested the study may not be the final word on the potential health benefits of vitamin D.
"It is still possible, however, that vitamin D supplementation could have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health via non-blood pressure effects, and ongoing large randomized trials are due to report on this in the next few years," the study concludes.
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