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Low Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure

Posted Jul 11 2013 10:08pm

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a complex medical condition, which may result as a culmination of factors including body weight, salt and water retention, mineral levels, etc.  Vimal Karani Santhanakrishnan, from the Institute of Children Health at the University College London (United Kingdom), and colleagues have completed a large genetic analysis demonstrated that individuals with genes linked to lower vitamin D levels are more likely to have hypertension mediated by low vitamin D. Among the 158,846 individuals studied, every 10% increase in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations associated with a 0.24 mmHg decrease in diastolic blood pressure, and an 8.1% decrease in the risk of developing hypertension.  The study authors submit that they present “a rich data set showing a relationship between a specific genetic polymorphism and blood pressure,” suggesting that their findings attest to a causal association between low levels of vitamin D and high blood pressure.

Santhanakrishnan VK, et al. "A causal association between vitamin D status and blood pressure: a Mendelian randomization study in up to 150,846 individuals" [Abstract #C18.2].  Presented at European Society of Human Genetics, 12 June 2013.

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Tip #187 - Milk The Benefits
Dairy and dairy products have been studied extensively for their promising health benefits:

• Combat Heart Disease & Stroke: University of Reading (United Kingdom) researchers studied findings from 324 studies of milk consumption as predictors of coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke and, diabetes. Data on milk consumption and cancer were based on the recent World Cancer Research Fund report. The team found that drinking milk can lessen the chances of dying from illnesses such as coronary heart disease and stroke by up to 15-20%. Separately, researchers from Bristol University (United Kingdom) studied data from the Carnegie (“Boyd Orr”) survey of diet and health in pre-war Britain. Tracking the lives and the dairy intake of 4,374 children between 1948 and 2005, the researchers found that 1,468 (34%) of them had died, and 378 of those deaths were caused by coronary heart disease and 121 were due to stroke. Not only did the study suggest that dairy rich diets in childhood do not contribute to heart problems later, the team found that higher childhood calcium intake was associated with lower stroke mortality. In addition, children who were in the group that had the highest calcium intake and dairy product consumption were found to have lower mortality rates than those in the lower intake groups.

• Maintain Cognitive Health: Researchers from the University of Oxford (United Kingdom) studied whether foods rich in Vitamin B-12 might counter homocysteine, a compound for which high levels are linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cognitive decline including Alzheimer's Disease. The team monitored 5,937 subjects in two age groups (47-49 years, and 71-74 years) participating in the Hordaland Homocysteine Study in Norway, surveying them for their daily food intake patterns. The team observed that those subjects with low B-12 levels suffered twice as much brain shrinkage as compared to those study participants with higher blood levels of the vitamin. The researchers observed two glasses of skim milk daily can help that raise plasma vitamin B-12 levels.
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