By: Pamela Egan, FNP-C CDE
Vitamin D3 may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol
Vitamin D3, also known as the “sunshine vitamin”, can be manufactured in the skin when the body is exposed to sunlight. However, as we age, the absorption of Vitamin D3 can be decreased. Vitamin D3 is the active form of Vitamin D. Vitamin D2 is a cheaper synthetic version that is ineffective. Vitamin D is necessary for healthy bones, muscles, and cells. It also helps the body absorb and use phosphorus and calcium. When one is exposed to sunlight for 15 to 20 minutes a day, they can absorb about 10,000-15,000 IU of Vitamin D3 each day.
When one thinks of Vitamin D they may think of rickets. Remember the children with bowed legs, a bent spine, and weak muscles. The adult form of this disease is called osteomalacia. A Vitamin D3 deficiency can also lead to osteoporosis, tooth decay, and nervous system disorders.
Many clinical trials & retrospective studies have linked the active form of vitamin D (Vitamin D3) to blood pressure. These studies reveal that when the level of Vitamin D3 drops too far, the blood pressure rises as well as the bad cholesterol (LDL). In addition to these metabolic processes, the body is not able to clear fat from the blood following a high fat meal.
So one may ask, “how does Vitamin D3 lower blood pressure”? We don’t know all of the mechanisms yet, but we do know that Vitamin D affects the cell membranes and aids in the absorption of calcium. So the lowering of blood pressure could be related to Vitamin D3 or it could be related to better calcium absorption.
The bottom line is that Vitamin D3 has positive effects on blood pressure and cholesterol.
Pamela Egan, MN, FNP-C, CDE is a board certified Adult & Family Nurse Practitioner and Certified Diabetes Educator. She is pursuing a Fellowship in Anti-Aging Medicine and can be reached at 985-854-4111 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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