A friend, retired pharmacist, sent me a note about a study that was just done in Europe on hypertension (high blood pressure). What they found is very exciting. Vitamin D was effective in reducing blood pressure as drugs. “Vitamin D ‘as good as drugs’ in Reducing High Blood Pressure.” Of course there have been many other studies showing the same thing. I do not know why this is not the first course of action in medical treatment for high blood pressure. From a nutritional standpoint, there are two things that significantly drive blood pressure either through restriction of you arteries or an effect on your renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) which regulates arterial constriction and water balance in the body through the kidneys.
- Vitamin D Deficiency
- Eating too much fruit and sugar
It seems like the pathway of sugar effects on high blood pressure is totally ignored by the medical profession. The fructose that is consumed in eating too much fruit and sugar is converted to uric acid in the liver and results in high blood pressure. Again, why this fructose-uric acid pathway for high blood pressure is ignored is unknown to me. Here is a summary PDF from the Cleveland Clinic on the topic. If this is an issue then you should control your sugar and fruit intake so that you are consuming no more than fifteen grams of fructose per day or thirty grams of sugar. A can of soft drink will generate just as much uric acid in your body as a can of beer. So think about that the next time you give you six year old a can of soft drink.
As I was leaving a clients office five years ago on a bright sunny summer day, I made the remark, “I think I will just go home and soak up some of this wonderful sunshine.”
My client inquired, “Are you into this vitamin D thing?” Well needless to say it was over an hour before I got out of his office. It turned out that he had had a life-long problem with high blood pressure. He had tried to control it with diet and drugs and was not effective. He tried ten thousand IU’s of vitamin D per day. His blood pressure came into normal control in just weeks. He tried this not because his doctor told him to but because a friend had suggested it.
Of course the issue with high blood pressure is the strokes that occur and the heart attacks from too high blood pressure. Relaxation of arterial walls is very important in controlling blood pressure. So first, reduce your sugar intake. Then take enough vitamin D or spend time in the sun so that you serum 25(OH)D is above 60 ng/ml. Also things that generate nitric oxide to help your arteries relax like niacin and l-arginine are a good idea.
The next time you are relaxing in the sun, do not drink a beer or a soft drink if you have high blood pressure. – Pandemic Survivor
Resources for Vitamin D and Hypertension:
From Henry Lahore and Vitamin D Wiki http://www.vitamindwiki.com/tiki-index.php?page_id=1171
From Dr. John Cannell and the Vitamin D Council http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/cardiovascular-diseases/hypertension/