May 10 2019, Friday
A recent study has linked drinking water of higher salinity to lower blood pressure in people living in a coastal region of Bangladesh. Sources of drinking water in the region can vary in salinity due to the influx of seawater.
While water of higher salinity contains more sodium, which can raise blood pressure, it also has more calcium and magnesium. The researchers explain this in a Journal of the American Heart Association paper about the study.
"Calcium and magnesium are protective; they decrease blood pressure," says lead study author Abu Mohammed Naser, who is a postdoctoral fellow in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.
He and his co-authors attribute the study's findings to the benefits of magnesium and calcium outweighing the harms of sodium.
Data on water salinity, blood pressure limited
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is the "leading preventable cause" of early deaths worldwide, according to a 2016 Circulation study that estimated that 1.39 billion people were living with the condition in 2010.
Having blood pressure that is too high increases the force that circulating blood exerts on artery walls. If the condition persists, it can damage the heart and raise the risk of stroke and other health problems.