You eat right, exercise, take your vitamins, and manage your stress. In short, you do everything right, but you walk into your doctor’s office and, bam! Suddenly you’re diagnosed with high blood pressure.
The truth is — that’s exactly why hypertension is known as the silent killer. Most people have little to no symptoms before they hit the danger zone and a heart attack or stroke is imminent.
And, since the American College of Cardiology lowered the blood pressure guidelines in 2017 to define hypertension as 130/80 mm Hg compared to the previous 140/90 mm Hg, you’re more likely than ever before to be lumped into the high blood pressure category and prescribed a drug to help you control it.
Luckily, there is hope.
A new study published in the American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology has found that your hypertension could be tied to a mineral deficiency…
The first-ever study of its kind
The way that your kidneys either excrete sodium through your urine or reabsorb it into your body — specifically through a pathway called the sodium chloride cotransporter (NCC) — plays a role in blood pressure control and can determine whether your blood pressure stays in a safe range or skyrockets.
If the pathway doesn’t function well, less sodium moves into your urine, causing your body to retain water and your blood pressure to rise.
Recent research had suggested that the mineral, zinc, may help regulate proteins that in turn regulate the NCC pathway, but a direct link between zinc deficiency and hypertension had not been examined.
But, that’s not a problem anymore…
Researchers compared male mice with zinc deficiency to healthy controls with normal zinc levels and found that the zinc-deficient mice developed high blood pressure along with a corresponding decrease in urinary sodium excretion. On the other hand, the control group didn’t experience these problems.
The researchers then fed a small group of the zinc-deficient mice a zinc-rich diet partway through the study.
And, guess what…
Once the animals’ zinc reached adequate levels, their blood pressure began to drop and urinary sodium levels increased.
According to the researchers, this proves that lower-than-normal zinc levels may contribute to high blood pressure by altering the way the kidneys handle sodium.
High blood pressure help the natural way
This means that in addition to eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, getting regular exercise and practicing relaxation techniques to lower your breathing and heart rate, you should consider a daily zinc supplement to optimize your blood pressure.
Zinc joins a tight list of other natural vitamins and supplements that have been shown beneficial at promoting healthier blood pressure, including:
- Vitamin K2 – Which promotes healthy blood flow and blood pressure by helping to keep your arteries clear, elastic and pliable and reduce calcium deposits
- Pterostilbene – A powerful antioxidant pterostilbene that helps block the creation of Angiotensin II – an enzyme that stiffens the walls of your blood vessels and triggers a hormone that increases the amounts of sodium and water retained by your body
- Green tea extract – Which contains catechins that have been proven to reduce oxidative stress and soothe inflammation, supporting your heart health.
- Grape Seed Extract – The polyphenols in grape seed extract activate nitric oxide in the lining of your blood vessels to keep blood platelets from sticking together and relax your arteries promoting healthy blood flow.
If you’re using more than one supplement, pay attention to how much of each you take. Sometimes you can find them already combined in specific blood pressure formulations, like in Peak BP Platinum™.
Just remember, if you’re on any blood pressure lowering medication, cue your doctor in on your plans to try natural ways to manage your blood pressure.
- Zinc deficiency may play a role in high blood pressure — EurekAlert!