Effect of daily 2000 IU versus 800 IU vitamin D on blood pressure among adults age 60 years and older: a randomized clinical trial

Am J Clin Nutr. 2020 Sep 1;112(3):527-537. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqaa145.


Background: Observational studies report higher blood pressure (BP) among individuals with lower 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration. Whether dosage of vitamin D supplementation has a differential effect on BP control remains unclear.

Objective: The study aimed to determine if daily vitamin D supplementation with 2000 IU is more effective than 800 IU for BP control among older adults.

Methods: This randomized, double-blind, ancillary trial of the Zurich Multiple Endpoint Vitamin D Trial in Knee Osteoarthritis enrolled adults aged ≥60 y who underwent elective surgery due to severe knee osteoarthritis. Participants were randomly assigned to receive high dose (2000 IU) or standard dose (800 IU) daily vitamin D3 for 24 mo. Outcomes included daytime and 24-h mean systolic BP. BP variability and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration were examined in a post hoc and observational analysis.

Results: Of the 273 participants randomly assigned, 250 participants completed a follow-up 24-h ambulatory BP monitoring (mean age: 70.4 ± 6.4 y; 47.2% men). The difference in daytime mean systolic BP reduction between the 2000 IU (n = 123) and 800 IU (n = 127) groups was not statistically significant (-2.75 mm Hg vs. -3.94 mm Hg; difference: 1.18 mm Hg; 95% CI: -0.68, 3.05; P = 0.21), consistent with 24-h mean systolic BP. However, systolic BP variability was significantly reduced with 2000 IU (average real variability: -0.37 mm Hg) compared to 800 IU vitamin D3 (0.11 mm Hg; difference: -0.48 mm Hg; 95% CI: -0.94, -0.01; P = 0.045). Independent of group allocation, maximal reductions in mean BP were observed at 28.7 ng/mL of achieved serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations.

Conclusions: While daily 2000 IU and 800 IU vitamin D3 reduced mean systolic BP over 2 y to a small and similar extent, 2000 IU reduced mean systolic BP variability significantly more compared with 800 IU. However, without a placebo control group we cannot ascertain whether vitamin D supplementation effectively reduces BP.This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00599807.

Keywords: 25(OH)D; ARV; blood pressure; blood pressure variability; hypertension; older adults; supplement; vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use*
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use*


  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin D

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00599807