Change in Diet May Reduce High Blood Pressure

A study published in The Journal of Clinical Hypertension has shown that a higher intake of minerals such as potassium, magnesium and calcium by dietary means may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and decrease blood pressure in people with hypertension. Increased intake of these minerals may also reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.

Hypertension is a medical condition which elevates a person’s blood pressure. More than 70 million Americans, which works out to 1 in 3 adults, have hypertension. Some common causes of hypertension include obesity, drinking too much alcohol, smoking, and family history. Symptoms associated with hypertension can include severe headaches, fatigue, chest pains, difficulty breathing and irregular heartbeat.

The study states that if more Americans with hypertension were to increase their potassium intake, they could reduce their blood pressure levels by 10 percent and increase their life expectancy. As for why they study American society? Hypertension affects only 1 percent of isolated countries where diets are high in fruits and vegetables. Industrialized countries that consume mainly processed foods and large quantities of dietary sodium have increased amounts of people with hypertension.

From the press release, “Hypertension is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease, affecting approximately 1 billion individuals worldwide and is the most common reason for visits to physician's offices and the primary reason for prescription drug use.

"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," says Mark C. Houston, M.D., author of the study.”

Various organizations related to the study of hypertension have advocated diets that focus on fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products.


Source: Journal of Clinical Hypertension