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Home >  Diet & Nutrition >  Link in Calcium and Hypertension
Articles on Diet & Nutrition
Link in Calcium and Hypertension
Author: Cleaves M. Bennett MD FACP
Monday, January 07, 2008

Evidence has been discovered linking inadequate intake of calcium with hypertension in adults (symposia headed by Dr. D. A. McCarron in Hypertension, 1982, and Annals of Internal Medicine, 1983). The causal relationship here is unclear.

Other studies have shown that adults commonly have less than optimal amounts of calcium in their diets, since intake of dairy foods and leafy vegetables tends to fall as we grow older. Beer replaces milk and cookies in the evening and our mothers aren't around anymore to make sure we eat all our vegetables! And Dr. J. M. Belizan and colleagues of Johns Hopkins have found that calcium supplements have a mild blood-pressure–lowering effect in adults (JAMA 1983). A more recent review of all the relevant studies was not so convincing. (CMAJ 1999, May 4) Calcium also is useful as a supplement, particularly in post–menopausal women, to prevent osteoporosis. Make sure you get enough sunlight so that your skin makes plenty of Vitamin D to help the intestines absorb all that calcium. And you must be a regular exerciser so that your bones take it up or else it just ends up wasted in the urine.

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Restrict Your Sugar Intake
Author: Cleaves M. Bennett MD FACP
Category: Diet
Sugar and sweeteners are also recent additions to the human diet. There's not a lot of evidence that sugar directly affects the blood pressure, but it certainly can have an enormously adverse effect on psychological well-being—and thus on stress. Read More
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Author: Cleaves M. Bennett MD FACP
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Our bodies are designed to function best on a low-sodium, high-potassium diet (this is the pattern of mineral content in natural, unrefined foods). But while we're processing foods we not only add a lot of sodium, we also leach out potassium. So the typical diet of Americans and other industrialized societies—most of whose food is grown, stored, processed, and even cooked by others—tends to leave us short of potassium. Read More