New body lotion could help millions suffering from high blood pressure
The body lotion boosts the level of magnesium in the blood, British scientists have discovered.
A diet low in the essential mineral is known to increase the risk of hypertension or high blood pressure – a potentially life-threatening condition.
The breakthrough was hailed last night as a viable alternative to taking magnesium pills.
Lindsy Kass, of the University of Hertfordshire, said: “Many people do not like taking pills or have difficulty swallowing them.
“But a cream could be used easily on a daily basis – for example by rubbing it into the skin after showering. Low magnesium intake has been shown to cause many health problems, including high blood pressure and cardiovascular issues, so these creams could potentially be a good way to contribute to the increase in magnesium levels and therefore help in reducing the associated health problems.”
High blood pressure kills about 10 million people worldwide every year and is the leading risk factor for stroke and heart disease.
In the UK a third of adults suffer from the condition, which can lead to heart attacks, stroke, heart failure and dementia.
The magnesium cream was found to significantly boost levels of the mineral in the blood, helping to regulate blood flow around the body.
The study, published in the journal PLOS One, is the first to examine the effects on human beings rather than animals.
Ms Kass worked alongside Andrea Rosanoff of the Centre for Magnesium Education and Research in Hawaii.
They studied a group of healthy adults who were randomly assigned into magnesium cream or placebo groups, then instructed to apply two 5ml spoonfuls of cream a day for two weeks.