Report #6320 9/10/94 – By Gabe Mirkin, M.D., for CBS Radio News www.drmirkin.com
High blood pressure can shorten your life by causing heart attacks and strokes. Several recent reports show that you can lower high blood pressure just by changing your intake of the minerals in your diet.
A normal blood pressure is 120 when your heart contracts and 80 when it relaxes. If your blood pressure is greater than 140 when your heart contracts or 90 when it relaxes, you have high blood pressure. The most effective treatment for high blood pressure is to go on a low-fat diet and lose weight. Several studies show that more than 60% of overweight people with high blood pressure can have their blood pressures return to normal when they lose weight. A significant number of people can control their high blood pressure by reducing their intake of sodium table salt and increasing their intake of calcium, potassium and magnesium. A study in the July issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that increasing your intake of magnesium helps to lower high blood pressure. Another study in the August issue of the British Medical journal shows that replacing table salt with a special salt containing potassium and magnesium lowered blood pressure even more.
If you have high blood pressure and are overweight, go on a low-fat diet and lose weight. Do not add salt to your food or cooking and avoid foods that taste salty. Increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, grains and beans because they are rich sources of potassium and magnesium and poor sources of sodium salt.
1) JCM Witteman, DE Grobbee, FHM Derkx, R Bouillon, AM Debruijn, H Hofman. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1994 (July); 60(1): 129-135.
2) JM Geleijnse, JCM Witteman, AAA Bak, JH Denbreeijen, DE Grobbee. Reduction in blood pressure with a low sodium, high potassium, high magnesium salt in older subjects with mild to moderate hypertension. British Medical Journal 1994(August);309(6952):436-440