If your blood pressure reading is high during a check-up, your doctor will likely ask you to cut down on salt. And he or she may tell you to exercise more.
And then, more than likely than not, you’ll be asked to take a hypertension drug.
But a new study shows that you may not need to do any of that.
Increasing your intake of one crucial mineral may lower your blood pressure to normal levels. About 40% of seniors are low in this mineral.
Research published in the American Journal of Physiology compared mice with zinc deficiency to those with normal zinc levels. The mice lacking zinc had high blood pressure and decreased urinary sodium excretion.[i]
After receiving more zinc in their diet, the formerly zinc-deficient mice had lower blood pressure and the sodium levels in their urine increased.
When kidneys aren’t working properly, they fail to excrete sodium. The sodium is then reabsorbed into the body. Higher sodium is linked to higher blood pressure. It’s thought that zinc helps kidneys eliminate sodium.[ii]
Simple At-Home Test for Zinc Deficiency
Some 40% of older Americans are zinc deficient. It’s a feature of common chronic conditions such as kidney disease and type 2 diabetes.
A recent study found that even minor zinc deficiency may cause DNA damage in humans.[iii]
Lack of zinc also harms your immune system and can raise your risk of pneumonia, infections, and age-related macular degeneration.
How can you tell if you need more zinc?
There aren’t any good laboratory screenings. But there is a simple test you can do at home. It was first reported in the medical journal The Lancet.
Get a bottle of liquid zinc assay. It’s available from online health retailers and medical supply stores.
Taste a spoonful. If it tastes like water, you are deficient. If it tastes bitter, your body has adequate levels.[iv]
Go here for a detailed guide.
2 Foods High in Zinc
One reason so many people are deficient, is that not many foods contain concentrated amounts of zinc. Oysters may be the best food source for zinc. Six of them contain 327% of the recommended daily value (DV) of zinc.[v]
Steak is another good source. Five ounces yields 140% DV.
The easiest way to ensure you get enough zinc is to take a supplement. They are widely available in drugstores and from online retailers.
Zinc supplements are primarily touted as a cold remedy. Some studies show that they work to shorten the length and severity of colds. Others indicate it has no effect.
For a cold or to lower your blood pressure, take about 40 mg of zinc acetate a day.[vi]
Editor’s Note: Big Pharma wants you to believe that drugs are the answer to everything. Discover the truth about their products in our special report, The Top 10 Dangerous Pharmaceutical Drugs—And Their Natural Alternatives. It’s an important read for you and your family.