BAD PYRMONT, GERMANY. Calcium and vitamin-D deficiencies are common both in Europe and the United States and so is hypertension (high blood pressure).
Researchers at the Institute of Clinical Osteology Gustav Pommer have just released the results of a study that clearly links the two.
Their randomized, double blind clinical trial involved 148 women (mean age of 74 years) who had a low blood level of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25OHD3)- the active form of vitamin-D. Half the women were assigned to take 600 mg of elemental calcium (in the form of calcium carbonate) with breakfast and dinner. The other half took 600 mg of calcium plus 400 IU of vitamin-D3 twice a day.
After eight weeks of supplementation the average (mean) systolic blood pressure in the vitamin-D plus calcium group had dropped by 10 per cent (from 144 mm Hg to 131 mm Hg) and the blood level of 25OHD3 had increased by 72 per cent.
The diastolic pressure also dropped slightly (from 84.7 to 77.5 mm Hg), but this change was not statistically significant. The systolic pressure also dropped in the calcium only group, but only by 4 per cent. The researchers conclude that short-term supplementation with calcium plus vitamin D is more effective in lowering blood pressure than is supplementation with calcium alone.
NOTE: This study was partially funded by Strathmann, Inc. a manufacturer of calcium and vitamin D supplements.
Pfeifer, Michael, et al. Effects of short-term vitamin D3 and calcium supplementation on blood pressure and parathyroid hormone levels in elderly women. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Vol. 86, April 2001, pp. 1633-37