Vitamin D is currently one of the most researched nutrients found in scientific literature, and according to a new study, hypertension is another condition its deficiency can be linked to. Numerous studies have linked vitamind D deficiency with obesity and depresion. Here is a snapshot of what some of the research is saying:
The hypertension study included over 155,000 thousand people and was conducted at the University College London, in the UK. What did the study find? For every 10% increase in vitamin D concentration, there was an 8.1% reduction in risk of developing hypertension. Meaning that hypertension may be able to be prevented through vitamin D supplementation, or food fortification.
In one study linking obesity with vitamin D deficiency, the researchers found that elevated body mass index resulted in lower levels of vitamin D, but did not find a causal effect the other way around (ie higher vitamin D is not linked to reduced BMI).
One of the studies assessing the link between depression and vitamin D status found a relationship between low vitamin D levels and depressive symptoms, symptoms that appeared to improve with supplementation of vitamin D.This was a randomised controlled trial with 440 people in Norway.
What does this mean for you? Ensure you are getting adequate vitamin D. How much sun do you need? From October to March 10 minutes per day; April, May, August and September 15 minutes per day and June and July, it depends where you live:
• Southern NSW: 40 minutes in the middle of the day.
• Northern and far western NSW: 25 minutes in midmorning or midafternoon.
Remember to always check UV levels and use sun protection when UV levels are 3 and above. For more info about sunshine and vitamin D, visit the Cancer Council.
And next time you see your GP, get your levels checked to make sure you’re not deficient.
Chloe McLeod is a dietitian at BJC Health.
This blog focuses on diet & nutrition generally and diet & nutrition in relation to the treatment of arthritis and arthritis-related diseases. Contact us if you'd like our help in managing diet-related health issues.