Electrolytes and High Blood Pressure

Electrolytes and High Blood Pressure

What are Electrolytes?

Electrolytes are essential minerals your body needs to function properly. Potassium, magnesium, and sodium are common electrolytes that help balance the PH level and the amount of water in the body.

Without electrolytes, the transport of nutrients and wastes in and out of cells would not be possible. Electrolytes keep our systems working properly such as regulating blood pressure.

Regulating Blood Pressure

Specifically, the electrolyte magnesium is crucial in aiding with healthy blood pressure. Magnesium activates certain enzymes, stabilizes cell structures, and is used to make cell protein, fats, and carbohydrates.

In terms of blood pressure, magnesium acts as a natural calcium channel blocker. By blocking calcium from entering the heart and arteries, it allows the blood vessels and arteries to relax and keep the blood pressure at normal levels.

In a meta-analysis from twenty trials at John Hopkins University looking at the effects of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure, the results were promising.

In Robert E. Kowalski’s book, The Blood Pressure Cure: 8 Weeks to Lower Blood Pressure without Prescription Drugs, he writes on the study, “For each 10 mmol (180 mg) increase in daily magnesium intake, systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased by 4.3 and 2.3 mm Hg, respectively... That is to say, the more magnesium consumed, the greater the blood pressure declined.” This study suggests that magnesium is an effective way to lower high blood pressure. 

What can I do?

Magnesium might help maintain healthy blood pressure. Electrolytes can be found in the foods we eat and drink, as well as electrolyte supplements.

Eating foods high in electrolytes such as banana, spinach, celery, and coconut water is a great way to obtain electrolytes.

In addition to food, electrolyte supplements in powder or tablet form is also an easy way to increase electrolytes in the body. 


The chart above is provided by the National Institute of Health on the recommended dietary allowances for magnesium.

Electrolytes are vital for your body to perform well, so make sure you include them in your diet.

 

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Sources: 
“Fluid and Electrolyte Balance.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 12 Mar. 2020, medlineplus.gov/fluidandelectrolytebalance.html.
“How Do Calcium Channel Blockers Work?” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 19 Sept. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/calcium-channel-blockers/art-20047605.
Iqbal, Sehar et al. “The Effect of Electrolytes on Blood Pressure: A Brief Summary of Meta-Analyses.” Nutrients vol. 11,6 1362. 17 Jun. 2019, doi:10.3390/nu11061362
Kowalski, Robert E.. The Blood Pressure Cure: 8 Weeks to Lower Blood Pressure without Prescription Drugs. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2007
“Office of Dietary Supplements - Magnesium.” NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/.