Why calcium plays a key role in lowering blood pressure

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Calcium is a mineral that is not only vital for building strong bones and teeth but also plays a crucial role in various bodily functions, including maintaining proper blood pressure.

There’s a growing body of research suggesting that calcium could be a useful ally in the battle against high blood pressure, or hypertension.

This article delves into how calcium affects blood pressure and why ensuring you get enough of it might help you manage or even prevent hypertension.

The body needs calcium to help muscles contract and expand, send messages through the nervous system, and release hormones and enzymes that affect almost every function in the human body.

When it comes to blood pressure, calcium helps blood vessels tighten and relax when they need to. It’s believed that if you don’t get enough calcium, your body could start releasing hormones that cause your blood vessels to tighten, increasing blood pressure.

Numerous studies have linked high calcium intake with lower blood pressure. The logic behind this is that calcium can help the body manage its balance of salts, which is crucial for normal blood pressure.

Salts like sodium are known to increase blood pressure, and calcium helps to counterbalance this effect, potentially lowering blood pressure.

In one study, researchers found that increasing dietary calcium led to modest reductions in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number).

The reductions were particularly noticeable in people who had a low-calcium diet before they started taking supplements. Other studies have shown similar benefits, especially when combining calcium with other dietary changes, like reducing salt and fat.

Calcium can be found in various food sources, not just dairy products. While milk, yogurt, and cheese are rich in calcium, other excellent sources include leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach, as well as fish with soft bones such as sardines and salmon.

Fortified foods like some cereals, juices, and plant-based milks (such as almond milk and soy milk) can also help boost your calcium intake.

Despite the positive effects of dietary calcium on blood pressure, it’s important to note that taking calcium supplements might not have the same benefits and could potentially carry risks if not managed properly.

Some studies suggest that high doses of calcium from supplements might increase the risk of heart disease. Therefore, it’s generally recommended to get calcium from food sources rather than supplements unless advised otherwise by a healthcare provider.

For those looking to manage or prevent high blood pressure, incorporating calcium-rich foods into your diet could be a helpful strategy.

This doesn’t just mean adding more dairy to your diet. Expanding your food choices to include a variety of calcium-rich foods can contribute to a balanced diet and might help in controlling blood pressure.

However, while calcium plays a role in controlling blood pressure, it’s most effective when part of an overall healthy diet and lifestyle.

This includes maintaining a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat proteins, getting regular physical activity, avoiding excessive salt and alcohol, not smoking, and managing stress.

In conclusion, while calcium might not be a standalone solution for hypertension, its role in promoting vascular health and helping manage blood pressure makes it a valuable component of a heart-healthy diet.

As with any health strategy, it’s best to discuss with your healthcare provider to determine how much calcium you need and the best sources to get it from.

If you care about blood pressure, please read studies about how diets could help lower high blood pressure, and 3 grams of omega-3s a day keep high blood pressure at bay.

For more information about blood pressure,, please see recent studies that beetroot juice could help reduce blood pressure, and results showing cinnamon could help lower high blood pressure.

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