These nutrients may help control hypertension in some people. Find out how.
Potassium and calcium and are minerals that may be key to preventing hypertension (high blood pressure) or lowering it if your blood pressure is already elevated.
Medically reviewed by Cynthia Haines, MD
The notion of blood pressure control through supplements was tested in a 1998 study of 300 nurses who didn't normally consume a lot of calcium or potassium in their diets. They took calcium and potassium supplements for 16 weeks, and at the end of the study, researchers found that potassium helped to lower blood pressure a little bit, but calcium did not at all. The conclusion: Potassium supplements may be somewhat helpful in lowering blood pressure, but getting more nutrients through food may be a better approach.
Another study also found that the hypertension-lowering effects of potassium supplements were somewhat similar to the results seen when people followed the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, diet. The DASH diet is focused on consuming lots of vegetables, fruits, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and seeds. Many of these foods are rich sources of potassium. A study that focused just on the DASH diet found that it lowered blood pressure for just
about everybody who tried it, regardless of gender, race, weight, hypertension status, or physical activity level.