Higher mineral intake cuts risk of heart disease: study

July 10th, 2008 - 2:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, July 10 (IANS) Increased mineral intake is likely to cut down the risks of coronary heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure, according to a study. Potassium has been associated with the low incidence of cardiovascular disease in vegetarians, as well as in populations consuming diets rich in potassium and low in sodium.

In less advanced societies that consume diets high in fruits and vegetables, hypertension affects only 1 percent of the populace. In industrialised countries that consume processed foods and large quantity of dietary sodium, more than a third have hypertension.

Americans consume double the sodium and about half of the potassium that is recommended by current guidelines.

According to the paper, if Americans were able to increase their potassium intake, the number of adults with known hypertension with BP levels might decrease by more than 10 percent and increase life expectancy.

Similar studies show that diets high in magnesium (at least 500 to 1,000 mg daily) and calcium (more than 800 mg daily) may also be associated with both a decrease in BP and risk of developing hypertension. Data regarding these minerals, however, are not definitive.

“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,” said Mark C. Houston, author of the study.

These findings were published in a supplement appearing with the July issue of The Journal of Clinical Hypertension.

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