Hypertension & Zinc

High blood pressure medications can cause zinc depletion.

High blood pressure medications can cause zinc depletion.

Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common cardiovascular condition that affects 30 percent of adults and is the third-leading cause of death in U.S, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you are a coach potato, you are more likely to develop hypertension. You can prevent hypertension by engaging in more physical activities. Researchers have found recently that prescription drugs used to treat hypertension can cause zinc deficiency.

Antihypertensive Drugs

Hypertension prescription drugs called ACE inhibitors may decrease the levels of zinc in your blood, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Your doctor will most likely order regular blood tests to monitor the levels of zinc in your blood. Avoid skipping scheduled appointments for your blood tests to ensure early diagnosis and treatment of zinc deficiency. Examples of ACE inhibitors include lisinopril, captopril and enalapril. The doctor may also switch you to other classes of antihypertensives that do not cause zinc depletion.

Zinc Replacement

You can replace depleted zinc by eating foods rich in zinc or taking vitamins containing the mineral. During therapy with ACE inhibitors, increase consumption of foods rich in zinc. Rich sources of zinc include red meat, milk, legumes and seafood. Consult your doctor about taking zinc supplements or over-the-counter multivitamins with minerals to replace depleted zinc. Avoid overdosing on zinc supplements, as only small amounts of the mineral are necessary for your body.

Zinc Benefits

Zinc is needed for proper growth and maintenance of a healthy body. If you have hypertension, zinc can help improve the general health of your body by boosting your immune system, according to MedlinePlus. A strong immune system helps defend your body against infections and reduces stress, which can increase high blood pressure. Zinc also has antioxidant properties, which can help protect your arteries from the negative effects of hypertension.

Considerations

Zinc supplements can be taken by mouth or through an injection. Your doctor may give you an injectable form of zinc if you have problems swallowing and absorbing zinc in tablet form. Taking zinc supplements together with food helps increase zinc absorption. Zinc supplements are safe when taken as prescribed, according to Drugs.com. Some people may experience minor gastrointestinal upsets, which can be prevented by taking zinc together with food.

 

About the Author

A registered nurse, Maria Warren has worked as a professional health writer since 2006. She holds a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Salem State College and a Master of Public Health in nutrition from Tufts University. Warren is currently working toward a nurse practitioner license.

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