Symptoms, conditions and causes

What is the overlooked cause of hypertension?

Zinc Deficiency: A Hidden Factor in Hypertension

Most hypertension cases (about 90%) are classified as essential, meaning the cause is unknown. Interestingly, the Southern U.S. has the highest rates of both hypertension and zinc-deficient soil. Could there be a connection?

Zinc deficiency can contribute to high blood pressure. While doctors often focus on sodium reduction, this approach doesn't always work, leaving patients frustrated. A zinc deficiency might make you crave salty, processed foods (high in sodium) while also diminishing your sense of taste.

Furthermore, widely used blood pressure medications like ACE inhibitors and others can actually deplete zinc levels, potentially worsening the problem.

Why Zinc Matters

Zinc is essential for producing nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, and for forming antioxidants that reduce inflammation – both critical for healthy blood pressure.

Sources and Risks of Zinc Deficiency

  • Diet: Limited shellfish and red meat intake, foods grown in zinc-poor soil.

  • Consumption of sugar, refined carbs, whole grains, alcohol, and fructose, which deplete zinc.

  • Weak stomach acid, which impairs mineral absorption.

Best Zinc Sources

Oysters, other shellfish, and red meat provide the most bioavailable zinc.

Important Note: Always consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, supplements, or medications, especially if you are managing hypertension.

Last updated: May 20, 2024 16:05 PM