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Vitamin D lowers high blood pressure in diabetic pregnant women

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Monday May 26, 2014 (foodconsumer.org) -- A study in American Journal of Hypertension suggests taking vitamin D supplements may help prevent high blood pressure in diabetic women during pregnancy.

Letícia S. Weinert from Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil and colleagues conducted the study and found vitamin D insufficiency in pregnancy was associated with high blood pressure in women who suffered gestational diabetes mellitus.

In early studies, vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy has been associated with an elevated risk of preeclampsia.   For the current study, researchers analyzed data from 184 pregnancy women with gestational diabetes mellitus who were followed through the third trimester of pregnancy for their status of vitamin D and blood pressure.

Diabetic pregnant women who had vitamin D insufficiency defined as having less than 30 ng per mL had higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure, compared with those who had sufficient vitamin D.

Among white women with gestational diabetes mellitus, vitamin D significantly affected systolic blood pressure and at baseline and the end of the third trimester, vitamin D levels were negatively associated with systolic blood pressure.

The associations were not observed among women of other ethnicities.

The study concluded "In this cohort of pregnant women with GDM (gestational diabetes mellitus), vitamin D insufficiency was associated with higher blood pressure, and in white women, serum vitamin D was an independent predictor of systolic blood pressure during pregnancy." (David Liu PHD)

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