Potassium, magnesium, and calcium: their role in both the cause and treatment of hypertension

J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2008 Jul;10(7 Suppl 2):3-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-7176.2008.08575.x.


Despite advances in the prevention and treatment of hypertension over the past decade, hypertension remains an important public health challenge. Recent efforts to reduce the prevalence of hypertension have focused on nonpharmacologic means, specifically diet. An increased intake of minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium by dietary means has been shown in some but not all studies to reduce blood pressure in patients with hypertension. This review will discuss the roles of potassium, magnesium, and calcium in the prevention and treatment of essential hypertension with specific emphasis on clinical trial evidence, mechanism of action, and recommendations for dietary intake of these minerals. A high intake of these minerals through increased consumption of fruits and vegetables may improve blood pressure levels and reduce coronary heart disease and stroke.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Calcium / physiology*
  • Calcium, Dietary / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / etiology
  • Hypertension / metabolism*
  • Hypertension / therapy*
  • Magnesium / physiology*
  • Magnesium Compounds / therapeutic use
  • Potassium / physiology*
  • Potassium, Dietary / therapeutic use
  • Prognosis


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Magnesium Compounds
  • Potassium, Dietary
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Calcium