A research team has decrypted the one of the biological mechanisms about Vitamin D deficiency triggering a range of diseases.
Vitamin D regulates the elasticity of blood vessels and thus also affects blood pressure amplitude.
The two primary authors, molecular biologist Olena Andrukhova and medical doctor Svetlana Slavic, of the Institute of Physiology, Pathophysiology and Biophysics at the Vetmeduni Vienna, found that prolonged vitamin D deficiency can stiffen blood vessels.
Examining the aorta, an elastic blood vessel that expands with each pulse of blood and then constricts again, the researchers showed that vitamin D deficiency makes the vessel less flexible.
Andrukhova explained that Vitamin D enhances the production of the enzyme eNOS (endothelial nitric oxide synthase) in the inner layer of blood vessels, the endothelium. This is critical for the regulation of blood pressure.
She said that the enzyme produces a molecule called nitric oxide (NO), an important factor for the relaxation of smooth muscles in the blood vessels.
Andrukhova explained added that when too little NO is formed, the vessels become less flexible, which ultimately leads to higher blood pressure which can give rise to other circulatory diseases, asserting that indirectly, vitamin D controls blood pressure.
The results have been published in the journal Molecular Endocrinology.