Evidence linking a low dietary potassium to sodium ratio to hypertension

Here is an interesting observation in response to this article on the Wall Street Journal –  headlined ‘Advance in war on high blood pressure’ which opened with the statement:

Americans are finally making headway in the battle against high blood pressure, one of the biggest contributors to cardiovascular disease

The comment read as follows: As someone who recovered from hypertension through diet, I felt dismayed by this article. Kaiser Permanente has improved its patients’ ability to control their blood pressure with medication, and this is presented as good news; but the real news here is that the medical community continues to ignore a method of blood pressure control that is simpler and better.

A year and a half ago, I was a trim, fit, nonsmoking 56-year-old with a blood pressure of 150/90. I began taking medication. I also began reading about hypertension. I discovered that, while the evidence linking dietary sodium to hypertension is complex and contradictory, the evidence linking a low dietary potassium/sodium ratio to hypertension is a lot stronger. (See, for example, “The High Blood Pressure Solution,” by Richard D. Moore M.D. Ph.D.)

Ignoring the relatively ineffectual established clinical guidelines for diet, as well my doctor’s skepticism, I stopped eating anything with added salt and began eating lots of bananas, orange juice and other high-potassium foods. My blood pressure fell so low that I was able to stop taking medication, and now, over a year later, it’s a healthy 115/75.

My new way of eating is easy to maintain. I’m healthy, I feel good, and I’m spared the expense and side effects of medication. Of course, this sort of gain, if lots of people did what I do, would reduce profits to hospitals and medical groups, as well as to food processing companies and drug companies. Could this explain why this method of blood pressure control is utterly neglected?

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