Photo courtesy American Heart Association

Vitamin D supplements may significantly reduce blood pressure in African-Americans, according to a new student in the American Heart Association’s (AHA) journal “Hypertension.”

According to the study, a three-month regimen of daily vitamin D increased circulating blood levels of vitamin D and resulted in a decrease in systolic blood pressure ranging from 0.7 to 4 mmHg. Systolic blood pressure — the top and highest number in a reading — is pressure in the arteries when the heart beats. Diastolic blood pressure — the bottom and lower number — is pressure in the arteries between heart beats.

According to the AHA, African-Americans have higher rates of hypertension and lower levels of circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D (or vitamin D3) than the rest of the US population. This was the first large controlled study of African-Americans. Researchers concluded additional studies in larger groups of African-Americans are necessary to confirm the findings.

For more information, visit www.heart.org/highbloodpressure.

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