New genetic research provides compelling evidence that low levels of vitamin D have a causal role in the development of high blood pressure (hypertension). The findings, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology (June 26, 2014), suggest that vitamin D supplementation could be effective in combating some cases of hypertension. “In view of the costs and side effects associated with antihypertensive drugs, the potential to prevent or reduce blood pressure and therefore the risk of hypertension with vitamin D is very attractive”, said study leader Professor Elina Hyppönen from the University of South Australia.
Lifestyle modification is a cornerstone of hypertension (HPT) treatment, yet most recommendations currently focus on diet and exercise and do not consider stress reduction strategies. Yoga is a spiritual path that may reduce blood pressure (BP) through reducing stress, increasing parasympathetic activation, and altering baroreceptor sensitivity; however, despite reviews on yoga and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and anxiety that suggest yoga may reduce BP, no comprehensive review has yet focused on yoga and HPT. By Anupama Tyagi, MA, PhD(c) and Marc Cohen MBBS(Hons), PhD, BMedSc(Hons), FAMAC, FICAE, published Alternative Therapies in Health Medicine, Vol. 20, No. 10.