Dietary calcium and blood pressure: Modifying factors in specific populations

D. A. McCarron, C. D. Morris, E. Young, C. Roullet, T. Drueke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Epidemiologic findings continue to add to the body of evidence supporting a relationship between calcium intake and blood pressure. These findings also indicate that there is a threshold of the potential protective effect of adequate calcium intake, below which the risk of hypertension increases at a greater rate. The set point of this threshold, estimated at 700-800 mg/d, may be modified by a variety of factors including dietary patterns and components, lifestyle, and genetics. This may explain, at least in part, the heterogeneous response observed in dietary-intervention studies. In animal models of hypertension it was shown that greater amounts of calcium must be given to cause a blood pressure change comparable with that in normal animals, suggesting that in high-risk human populations in which calcium metabolism may be disordered, calcium intake may have to be increased to amounts > 700-800 mg/d to demonstrate the blood-pressure-lowering effect. Calcium intake at or above the currently recommended daily allowance of 800 mg could be of potential benefit to certain racial groups, individuals ingesting excessive alcohol, and pregnant women, all of whom generally consume low amounts of calcium and who are at higher risk of developing hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215S-219S
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number2 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 1991


  • Blood pressure
  • Dietary Ca
  • Hypertension
  • Intestinal Ca transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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