Effects of Zinc on Blood Pressure

Zinc is a metal trace element that is necessary for human health in very small amounts. If you have too much or too little zinc in your body, it can throw various body systems off balance, including your body's ability to maintain normal blood pressure. Talk to your doctor about zinc to make sure you are getting enough, but not so much that you develop zinc toxicity.

A man is getting his blood pressure taken. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Zinc Deficiency

If enough zinc is not circulating throughout your bloodstream, your blood pressure may increase, according to a 2005 study published in the journal "Pediatric Research." Researchers discovered that even a mild zinc deficiency can have a significant impact on arterial blood pressure. Having a zinc deficiency while you are young and your body is still growing may increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease later in life.

Excess Zinc

While having a zinc deficiency can damage your cardiovascular system, excess zinc can also elevate your blood pressure. In a 2004 study published in the "Journal of Hypertension," researchers discovered that excess zinc intake influences systolic blood pressure and mean arterial pressure. The researchers conclude that getting too much zinc in your diet can cause a hypertensive state by increasing the oxidative stress placed on your arteries.

Zinc and Copper

Zinc interacts with other minerals, especially copper, to influence blood pressure, according to a study published in the "Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology." In this study, zinc and copper were found to be interrelated, and when these two minerals are out of sync with each other, blood pressure is adversely affected. The researchers state that imbalances between zinc and copper in your body may be associated with an increased risk of hypertension, or high blood pressure.

Zinc Recommendations

Because a zinc deficiency or excess zinc can have adverse effects on your blood pressure, it is important to make sure you are getting the right amount of zinc in your diet. The recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, for zinc in adult men is 11 mg per day, while adult women require 8 mg. However, the amount of zinc you need depends on a variety of factors, including age, disease and pregnancy. Talk with your physician before taking zinc supplements for health.

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