Combinations of potassium, calcium, and magnesium supplements in hypertension

Frank M. Sacks, Lisa E. Brown, Lawrence Appel, Nemat O. Borhani, Denis Evans, Paul Whelton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Dietary intakes of potassium, calcium, and magnesium have each been reported to lower blood pressure, but the extent of blood pressure reduction in epidemiological studies and clinical trials has tended to be small and inconsistent. We hypothesized and combinations of these mineral supplements would lower blood pressure and that the reductions would be greater than that usually reported in studies of each cation alone. One hundred twenty-five patients (82 men and 43 women) with untreated mild or borderline hypertension were randomly assigned to daily treatment with one of the following four regimens; 60 mmol potassium and 25 mmol (1000 mg) calcium, 60 mmol potassium and 15 mmol (360 mg) magnesium, calcium and magnesium, or placebo. Standardized clinic blood pressure measurements were obtained on 3 days at baseline and after 3 and 6 months of treatment. At baseline, systolic and diastolic blood pressures (mean ± SD) were (39 ± 12 and 90 ± 4 mm Hg, respectively, and dietary intakes of potassium, calcium, and magnesium were 77 ± 32, 19 ± 13, and 12 ± 52 mmol/d, respectively. The mean differences (with 95% confidence intervals) of the changes in systolic and diastolic blood pressures between the treatment and placebo groups were not significant: -0.7 (- 4.3 to +2.9) and -0.4 (-2.9 to +2.1) for potassium and calcium, -1.3 (-4.4 to +1.8) and 0.4 (-2.5 to +3.3) for potassium and magnesium, and +21 (-1.8 to +6.0) and +2.2 (-1.0 to +5.4) for calcium and magnesium. In conclusion, this trial provides the little evidence of an important role of combinations of cation supplements in the treatment of mild or borderline hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)950-956
Number of pages7
Issue number6 I
StatePublished - Dec 1995


  • blood pressure
  • calcium
  • diet
  • food, fortified
  • magnesium
  • potassium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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