Could zinc help control blood pressure?
28-Jun-2021 - 1 min read
Doctors use a variety of strategies to help people manage hypertension. When exercise and dietary measures, such as increasing potassium intake and reducing salt intake, are not enough to keep blood pressure within acceptable limits, many drugs are available.
Each of them attempts to either reduce cardiac output or reduce peripheral resistance in the body’s arterial system. One mechanism for reducing resistance to blood flow is to relax the muscles that surround the arteries and arterioles, allowing blood to flow more freely.
“Fundamental discoveries going back more than 60 years have established that the levels of calcium and potassium in the muscle surrounding blood vessels control how they expand and contract,” say the authors of a recent study. However, these scientists unexpectedly found that a metal, zinc, may also play a role in maintaining vascular tone.
“Zinc is an important metal ion in biology and, given that calcium and potassium are famous for controlling blood flow and pressure, it’s surprising that the role of zinc hasn’t previously been appreciated.”