The Impact of Vitamin D in the Treatment of Essential Hypertension

Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Feb 3;19(2):455. doi: 10.3390/ijms19020455.


The aim of this review is to investigate, whether there is a possible link between vitamin D supplementation and the reduction of blood pressure in hypertensive patients. The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system is known for being deeply involved in cardiovascular tonus and blood pressure regulation. Hence, many of the pharmaceutical antihypertensive drugs inhibit this system. Interestingly, experimental studies in mice have indicated that vitamin D supplementation significantly lowers renin synthesis and blood pressure. It is conceivable that similar mechanisms may be found in the human organism. Regarding this, large-scale cross-sectional studies suggest the serum 25(OH)D-level to be inversely correlated to the prevalence of hypertension. However, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have not found a clear association between vitamin D supplementation and improvements in hypertension. Nevertheless, the missing association of vitamin D and hypertension in clinical trials can be due to suboptimal study designs. There are hints that restoration of serum 25(OH)D levels during vitamin D therapy is essential to achieve possible beneficial cardiovascular effects. It is important to perform long-term trials with a short dose interval and a high bioavailability of supplementation. Taken together, more RCTs are required to further investigate if vitamin D can be beneficial for the reduction of blood pressure.

Keywords: cholecalciferol; essential hypertension; hypertension; renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS); vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Essential Hypertension / complications
  • Essential Hypertension / diet therapy*
  • Essential Hypertension / metabolism
  • Essential Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / genetics
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / metabolism
  • Renin / genetics
  • Renin / metabolism
  • Renin-Angiotensin System / drug effects*
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / diet therapy*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / metabolism
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / physiopathology


  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Receptors, Calcitriol
  • VDR protein, human
  • Vitamin D
  • Renin