How Minerals Affect Blood Pressure
Learn how sodium, potassium, and calcium affect your blood pressure reading
Excess sodium raises blood pressure in two ways. First, as all physicians are taught, it causes the kidneys to increase the amount of water in the bloodstream, which places excess pressure on blood vessel walls. But sodium’s other role in hypertension—the one that involves imbalances with other minerals—is largely ignored.
Minerals often work in tandem in the body, and one of the most important mineral couples is sodium and potassium. The movement of these minerals across the cellular membranes creates an electrical “spark” that is a driving force for many of your body’s functions.
Called the sodium-potassium pump, this electrical charge energizes another cellular mechanism, the calcium pump, which maintains the proper intracellular concentration of calcium. If too much calcium builds up inside arterial cells, the muscular walls of the arteries contract, restricting blood flow and increasing blood pressure.
Extra calcium inside the cells also interferes with insulin’s ability to usher glucose into the cells. This causes excess levels of insulin and glucose to build up in the bloodstream, a condition known as insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance contributes not only to hypertension but also to high cholesterol and triglycerides and type 2 diabetes. When the sodium-potassium and calcium pumps are running at their peak, mineral levels inside the cell and blood pressure remain normal. However, when sodium overpowers potassium, blood pressure rises.
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For more than 30 years, Dr. Julian Whitaker has helped people regain their health with a combination of therapeutic lifestyle changes, targeted nutritional support, and other cutting-edge natural therapies. He is widely known for treating diabetes, but also routinely treats heart disease and other degenerative diseases. More About Dr. Whitaker
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