Nutrition is known to exert an undeniable impact on blood pressure with especially salt (sodium chloride), but also potassium, playing a prominent role. The aim of this review was to summarize meta-analyses studying the effect of different electrolytes on blood pressure or risk for hypertension, respectively. Overall, 32 meta-analyses evaluating the effect of sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium on human blood pressure or hypertension risk were included after literature search. Most of the meta-analyses showed beneficial blood pressure lowering effects with the extent of systolic blood pressure reduction ranging between -0.7 (95% confidence interval: -2.6 to 1.2) to -8.9 (-14.1 to -3.7) mmHg for sodium/salt reduction, -3.5 (-5.2 to -1.8) to -9.5 (-10.8 to -8.1) mmHg for potassium, and -0.2 (-0.4 to -0.03) to -18.7 (-22.5 to -15.0) mmHg for magnesium. The range for diastolic blood pressure reduction was 0.03 (-0.4 to 0.4) to -5.9 (-9.7 to -2.1) mmHg for sodium/salt reduction, -2 (-3.1 to -0.9) to -6.4 (-7.3 to -5.6) mmHg for potassium, and -0.3 (-0.5 to -0.03) to -10.9 (-13.1 to -8.7) mmHg for magnesium. Moreover, sufficient calcium intake was found to reduce the risk of gestational hypertension.
Keywords: blood pressure; calcium; electrolytes; hypertension; magnesium; meta-analysis; potassium; sodium.