Minerals and blood pressure

Ann Med. 1991 Aug;23(3):299-305. doi: 10.3109/07853899109148064.


The mineral elements sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium play a central role in the normal regulation of blood pressure. In particular, these mineral elements have important interrelationships in the control of arterial resistance. These elements, especially sodium and potassium, also regulate the fluid balance of the body and, hence, influence the cardiac output. Evidence shows that the present levels of intake of mineral elements are not optimum for maintaining normal blood pressure but predispose to the development of arterial hypertension. Research results suggest that without sodium chloride (common salt) and other sodium compounds being added to the diet arterial hypertension would be virtually non existent. Moreover, blood pressure would not rise with age. In communities with a high consumption of added sodium, a high intake of potassium and, possibly, magnesium seem to protect against the development of arterial hypertension and the rise of blood pressure with age. A marked reduction of sodium intake is effective in treating even severe hypertension. A moderate restriction of sodium intake or an increase in potassium intake exert remarkable antihypertensive effects, at least in some hypertensive patients. Magnesium and possibly also calcium supplements may be effective in reducing blood pressure in some hypertensives. In hypertensive patients treated with drugs sodium restriction and potassium and magnesium supplementation enhance the therapeutic effect, reduce the number and dosage, and lessen the adverse effects of prescribed antihypertensive drugs. Hence, a fall in sodium consumption and increases in potassium and magnesium consumption are useful in preventing and treating arterial hypertension.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Calcium / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Magnesium / physiology
  • Minerals / metabolism*
  • Potassium / physiology
  • Sodium / physiology


  • Minerals
  • Sodium
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Calcium