Sodium - Hypertension
and High Blood Pressure

Potassium to Improve
Cardiovascular Health

Magnesium to Prevent
Heart Attacks

Calcium, to prevent,
high blood pressure
and heart disease

Diuretic Drugs
and Heart Attacks

Potassium to Improve Cardiovascular Health and Lower Blood Pressure

meditation for health

The intimate relationship between calcium, magnesium and potassium is important for many vital bodily functions. Potassium plays a vital role in this important relationship for improving cardiovascular health and preventing heart disease.

We usually hear that potassium helps the body to excrete sodium, and that this will decrease the amount of excess fluid and thus lower blood pressure. Potassium also increases calcium retention. Therefore, a high potassium intake prevents calcium excretion, which in turn prevents excess magnesium and potassium loss.

The relationship between sodium and potassium is a biological tug of war. Contrary to everything you have ever heard about sodium, it is needed to lower blood pressure. I know your doctor told you not to eat salt but here is the catch – sodium is necessary to absorb magnesium. We need proper magnesium levels to prevent potassium loss.

To get out of this dilemma part of the solution is to look at the source of sodium in your diet. Most people get their sodium from the wrong source – table salt. The table salt that is sold in supermarkets is not really salt at all because it is so refined. When you eat French unrefined light grey sea salt, a complete salt, it satisfies not only the sodium requirement, but provides seventy other trace minerals as well. Eating this real salt actually helps your body to excrete excess sodium and maintain potassium levels. The solution to this age-old problem is simple and natural.

As we discussed earlier, sodium sensitivity may be a symptom of low calcium, magnesium, and potassium intake. One study compared a group of 16 people who had mild hypertension with a group who had normal blood pressure. They ate two different diets, each for a period of 12 weeks. Both groups ate their normal diet during the first 12 weeks, and also took sodium tablets. During the second period, their normal diets were supplemented with potassium. They were also instructed to avoid excessively salty foods, and not to add salt while cooking or at the table.

In both groups, the high-sodium diet produced a slow rise in blood pressure. But during the high-potassium/low-sodium diet, both systolic and diastolic blood pressure fell sharply and significantly in the hypertensive group. There was a small but insignificant rise in the normotensive, or healthy group, according to the researchers.214

After this study both groups were tested one final time a month later. At the time, the participants had returned to their regular eating habits, and the hypertensive group’s blood pressure had shot back up again. The conclusion drawn by the researchers was that the key factor in the startling drop in pressure during the high-potassium/low-sodium diet had been increased potassium. They reached this conclusion since the participants’ regular diets included only a marginal rise in sodium but a much greater decline in potassium.215

Potassium also serves as an electrolyte, carrying a tiny electrical charge to insure proper functioning of every muscle, especially the heart muscle. Because cardiac muscle is extremely sensitive to potassium levels, a sudden drop in potassium can cause cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeats, which can bring the heart’s work to an abrupt and fatal halt.216 Modern medicine acknowledges the value of the heart receiving proper electrical charges by using pace makers; good nutrition may offer a better alternative.

Research shows that dietary potassium intake is inversely related to blood pressure: when potassium intake decreased, blood pressure increased.217 Other research shows that potassium supplementation may reduce blood pressure in hypertensives.218 According to research, increasing potassium intake may be more important than decreasing sodium. High potassium intake will maintain calcium levels, which will maintain magnesium levels, and that will maintain potassium levels. We must have nutritional balance to lower blood pressure.

Potassium supplementation through diet is very important in dealing with stress. Stress lowers potassium levels in your body, which increases sodium levels, and thus increases blood pressure.

Potassium supplementation through diet is very important in dealing with stress. Stress lowers potassium levels in your body, which increases sodium levels, and thus increases blood pressure.

Stress-induced potassium loss is triggered by the adrenal glands. The adrenal cortex releases three classes of hormones that provide longterm responses for stress and homeostasis. One such class of hormones is called mineralcorticoids. The mineralcorticoid aldosterone regulates the balance of sodium and potassium. Stress stimulates the adrenal cortex to release aldosterone, which raises blood pressure because it causes your body cells to lose potassium and hold on to sodium. This is another process that demonstrates the relationship between stress and hypertension. Replacing potassium is invaluable in this situation, as are techniques for releasing and preventing stress.

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