Could calcium and magnesium being added to water reduce high blood pressure be a pragmatic way for those who are lacking drinking water which includes these minerals?
Research has shown that drinking water which contains high saline reduces blood pressure for people living in coastal areas of Bangladesh. Although we know that higher saline water means high volumes of sodium which can increase blood pressure but at the same time the water also contains minerals; calcium and magnesium.
A lead study author Abu Mohammed Naser, who is a postdoctoral fellow in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta, GA says, “Calcium and magnesium are protective; they decrease blood pressure”. He with his co-authors, make sure to produce information to reduce the cons of sodium and explain the advantages of minerals.
What does data collected suggest about saline water and hypertension?
It is known that high blood pressure or hypertension is the ‘leading preventable cause’ of early deaths everywhere. A 2016 Circulation Study estimates that 1.39 billion people were sufferers of this disease since 2010.
High blood pressure is very risky as it increases the pressure of circulating blood exerts on artery walls. If this continues, it could increase the risk of strokes and other heart and health issues.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has noted that around 75 million adults have had high blood pressure in the US and this resulted in more than 410,000 deaths in 2014.
Naser and his co-authors found out that groundwater is the main source of drinking water for more than 1 billion people living in coastal regions.
From this population, around one fifth live in areas where seawater flows into groundwater which increases levels of mineralization.
They also realize that data collected on “drinking water salinity, mineral intake, and cardiovascular health of the population,” is very less.
Calcium and Magnesium act against Sodium
Naser’s information included data of two studies collected from different regions of coastal Bangladesh. The measurement included periods in which salinity of drinking water varied as a result of monsoons and dry weather.
It was researched that people who consumed light or normal saline water had high sodium in their urine that those who drank fresh water of low level salinity. Those high levels of urinary sodium suffered from high systolic blood pressure.
It was also noticed that, those who consumed drinking water of low or normal levels of salinity had high levels of magnesium and calcium in their urine. This results in having lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Another insight to the case of fortified drinking water
Dr. Robert M. Carey, professor of medicine at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, helped to provide information for the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology on blood pressure.
He mentions that reduction in blood pressure is not favorable; they are large enough to make a difference. Therefore, these results require more investigation.
Further research if done proves that drinking water which includes calcium and magnesium can reduce blood pressure, and then it would be a new invention to dealing with hypertension.
AHA suggests that people should instead include magnesium and calcium in their diet and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics also agree.
Naser mentions that consuming mineral levels in the soil due to ‘over-farming’ and change in rainfall and climate change can also be a factor. He includes, fortifying drinking water with beneficial minerals could add to the deficit. He also says that the body consumes minerals better from drinking water rather than in foods.
It is very essential to include a good level of calcium and magnesium in drinking water to make sure of fulfilling daily necessities since it’s shown that all around the world, consuming minerals in the diet is diminishing.