Minerals and Heart Disease

May 31/Lahore, Pakistand/Right Vision News -- 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% of the populace. In industrialized 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% and increase life expectancy.

Similar studies show that diets high in magnesium (at least 500-1,000mg daily) and calcium (more than 800mg 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.

From the June 7, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition