Human Nutrition and Blood Pressure Regulation: An Integrated Approach

David A. McCarron, Holly J. Henry, Cynthia D. Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


This review highlights the complex interactions that constitute the disciplines of nutrition and cardiovascular physiology. Nutritional factors have long been considered as critical in the pathogenesis of human hypertension. Theoretical and established contributions of various nutrients to blood pressure regulation are presented. A brief historical perspective of sodium's dominance in this area is provided. "Accepted" principles of nutrient interaction are then applied to cardiovascular research. First, the interrelationships among all macronutrients and diet composition, nutrient absorption, renal elimination, and ultimate bioavailability to the vascular tissue are assessed. An analysis of dietary recall data from human studies is provided to illustrate such nutrient interaction. Second, associated factors that influence nutrition are considered in relation to both human and animal investigations of blood pressure regulation. Finally, the development and interpretation of future studies are assessed in light of these principles. Examples from both the human and animal literature are provided to show why it is necessary to incorporate fully the established principles of nutrition into our current concepts of the pathogenesis of hypertension. Future progress in terms of nutrition, food, and health will be dependent upon such an integrated approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-13
Number of pages12
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1982


  • Blood pressure research
  • Cardiovascular research
  • Diet and hypertension
  • Human nutrition
  • Macronutrients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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