Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) supplementation lowers systolic blood pressure in blacks, according to a study published in Hypertension (2013;61:779-785).

John P. Forman, MD, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues randomized 283 blacks (median age, 51 years) to receive 1,000, 2,000, or 4,000 IU of cholecalciferol, or placebo daily. Systolic and diastolic pressure and 25-hydroxyvitamin D were measured at baseline and at three and six months.

The researchers found that the difference in systolic pressure between baseline and three months was +1.7 mm Hg for those receiving placebo, −0.66 mm Hg for 1,000 IU/day, −3.4 mm Hg for 2,000 IU/day, and −4.0 mm Hg for 4,000 IU/day of cholecalciferol (−1.4 mm Hg for each additional 1,000 IU/day of cholecalciferol). There was a significant 0.2-mm Hg reduction in systolic pressure for each 1 ng/mL increase in plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Cholecalciferol supplementation had no effect on diastolic pressure.

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“Within an unselected population of blacks, three months of oral vitamin D3 supplementation significantly, yet modestly, lowered systolic pressure,” the authors write.