Calcium and potassium are the popular minerals associated with controlling blood pressure. However, a new study finds that zinc can also be used as a potential cure for treating the condition.
Zinc- A potential Cure For High Blood Pressure
Researchers recorded the observation while studying the role of zinc in the function of a rat’s brain.
if findings from other research and studies validate the observation, zinc can be used in formulating new medications that can be used for controlling high blood pressure.
Traditional measures to control blood pressure:
Presently doctors use a variety of traditional measures to control blood pressure.
These include managing hypertension in patients prone to developing high blood pressure, implementing exercise and dietary changes like increasing the daily potassium intake and cutting down on daily salt intake.
In a certain severe condition, such measures may fail to control the blood pressure for which there are many prescription medicines available that the doctors suggest on a regular basis.
Most of these drugs for managing blood pressure aim at reducing the cardiac output and the peripheral resistance in the arterial system of the body.
The mechanism that is relied on to reduce the resistance in blood flow is to relax the muscles that are surrounding the arteries to help in a smoother flow of blood through the system.
As stated by an author of the particular study, the role of calcium and potassium in maintaining muscle tone of the blood vessels is well established for decades.
However, it was recently found out that zinc also might have a probability in maintaining the muscle tone of arteries carrying the blood.
Dr. Scott Ayton, a senior author of the study, states that in biology, and with the evident benefit of calcium and potassium, it is surprising that the role of zinc was not discovered in the past.
A discovery by accident:
As the lead author of the study, Dr. Ashenafi Beatri, recalls, the study was originally aimed at understanding the role of zinc-based medicine for treating Alzheimer’s condition in the brain of rats.
During the course of the study, there was a significant drop in the blood pressure of the rats undergoing the zinc-based treatment.
Experts believe that the recent discovery with zinc reestablishes some already known facts about the metal ion. For instance, zinc deficiency causes hypertension in animal models, and the gene that is associated with maintaining the level of zinc within the body is also linked with certain other hypertensive and cardiovascular conditions.
However, in the case of humans, there is no substantial relation between hypertension, cardiovascular conditions, and dietary zinc intake.
Moreover, there is no correlation between the amount of zinc in the bloodstream of an individual and the presence of zinc within the cell.
The study finds that it is the amount of zinc within the cell that can impact the blood pressure and not the zinc in the bloodstream of an individual.
How can zinc help in managing blood pressure:
High blood pressure that we medically refer to all the time is caused by a contraction in the smooth muscle cells of the artery and the veins through which the blood flows.
While flowing through the contracted narrow veins, the blood exerts and outward pressure that can damage or rupture the blood vessels in extreme conditions.
Calcium is the main factor that induces this narrowing of the blood vessel, while potassium regulates the level of calcium in the muscle and tissues.
As per the findings of the latest study, zinc maintains the endothelial cells, muscles, as well as sensory nerves which reduces the concentration of calcium in the muscles and the tissues which in turn relaxes them.
This helps in the smooth and steady flowing of the blood that can reduce blood pressure.
The way ahead:
If the findings of the study show some basis by the validation of other research and analysis, zinc can be used as a potential medication for managing hypertension.
In due course, it is believed to hold further promise for the development of zinc-based medicine to treat high blood pressure in humans.