The Connection Between Vitamin D And Arterial Stiffness Explained

Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is an essential nutrient necessary for optimal calcium absorption and bone growth, as well as support of a number of other bodily functions (Via WebMD). The fat soluble vitamin is produced by the body when exposed to sunlight, but can also be obtained through foods and supplements (per Healthline).

Healthline reports additional functions of getting an adequate amount of vitamin D include immune system strengthening, reduced risk of depression, and  weight loss support. Vitamin D is associated with many health benefits, but you might be surprised to learn that it can be critical for the health of your heart and arteries.

A 2017 randomized clinical trial of 70 young, overweight participants found that after four months of using 4,000 IUs of vitamin D3 daily, there was a significant reduction in arterial stiffness. When the arteries become stiff, hypertension occurs, so keeping blood pressure within a normal range is crucial, as it decreases the risk of heart attack and stroke (via American Heart Association).

Vitamin D reduces inflammation in the arteries

Dr. Eric Berg, DC, shares that vitamin D helps ensure elasticity of the arteries by reducing inflammation, stating that "vitamin D is one of the most potent, natural anti-inflammatories." He goes on to share that it's very effective. A 2013 study published in The Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that, after one year of supplementing with 1,000 IUs of vitamin D3 daily, participants saw a reduction in arterial stiffness. A separate study published in the American Journal of Hypertension found that when participants were given 3,000 IUs of vitamin D3 daily during winter months, they saw a reduction in blood pressure.

Dr. Berg recommends 10,000 Us of D3 daily, as he reports that it's very difficult to obtain an adequate amount of vitamin D from food. However, it's important to discuss your vitamin D3 levels and intake with your doctor. 

Moreover, ATCOR reports that arterial stiffness may be the leading cause of stroke and heart disease, but this condition also increases the risk of other chronic medical conditions including Parkinson's, kidney disorders, and type 2 diabetes. If you think you may have arterial stiffness, check in with your medical care provider to discuss your options.