/publications/issue/2003/2003-01/2003-01-7079

The "DASH" Diet for African Americans

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Magnesium could make African Americans less prone to high blood pressure, according to a new study. Magnesium helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, regulate heart rhythm, and keep bones strong, and it is believed that a deficiency may be associated with high blood pressure in African Americans.

Because most of the body?s magnesium is stored in body tissues and bone, blood tests cannot diagnose a deficiency, so experts suggest that African Americans with hypertension consult their physicians about going on the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet.

The diet is high in magnesium, potassium, and calcium, and low in sodium. The diet is available by calling the National Institutes of Health at 301-592-8573.