Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium Cause & Treatment Hyperten

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Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium Cause & Treatment Hyperten

Houston MC, Harper KJ. Potassium, Magnesium, and Calcium: Their Role in Both the Cause and Treatment of Hypertension. J Clin Hypertens 2008 July;10(7 Suppl):3-11.



Mineral Intake Supports Healthy Blood Pressure

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Increasing intake of certain minerals, particularly potassium, through dietary consumption of fruits and vegetables could improve blood pressure and cardiovascular health in Americans, according to a new review out of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. In a paper published in a supplement to the Journal of Clinical Hypertension (2008 July;10(7 Suppl):3-11), Mark C. Houston, M.D., and Karen J. Harper, PharmD, explore the evidence linking greater intake of potassium, magnesium and calcium to lower blood pressure, and suggest how changing diets to include more produce could address the rising incidence of hypertension in the United States.

Potassium had the strongest preponderance of evidence through both population and intervention trials. “If we were to achieve the correct potassium/sodium ratio through dietary means, there would be less hypertension and cardiovascular disease in the population as a whole,” Houston said. There is also suggestive evidence supporting a greater intake of magnesium and calcium in relation to lower blood pressure; however, the mechanisms of action are still less defined and results of intervention trials have been inconclusive.

While the researchers concluded a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, in conjunction with lifestyle changes such as weight loss and increased exercise, could help prevent major health problems linked to hypertension and coronary heart disease, they added, “The population that could most benefit from increased potassium, magnesium and calcium in the diet may have the least access to these more expensive food types (fruits and vegetables).”

Editorial support, including a honorarium to the authors, for the article was provided by Unilever’s Promise Institute for Heart Health Nutrition.