It is estimated that 60 million Americans have high blood pressure, and uncontrolled high blood pressure (hypertension) is the leading risk factor for both heart attack and stroke. Women are even more vulnerable to high blood pressure than men. Despite lifestyle modifications and drugs, only about two-thirds of those who know they have high blood pressure have it under control (usually with drugs). These statistics make high blood pressure the number one concern of cardiologists and internists today.
Blood pressure is the result of a complex system that includes not only the heart and blood vessels, but also hormones and protein messengers. As the heart pumps, it sends blood through arteries. Healthy arteries expand under the pressure and contract when the pressure wave passes. However, unhealthy or inelastic arteries cannot expand, which causes higher pressure when the blood pumps.
Receptors in the kidneys keep track of pressure and send hormone signals to the heart to speed up or slow down as needed. Readings consistently above 140/90 are a risk factor for heart attacks.
Conventional medicine tries to control blood pressure with drugs such as ACE inhibitors like Accupril or Vasotec or with diuretics like Lasix or Aldactone. But there are more natural ways to control blood pressure already in the normal range that often eliminate the need for drugs at all. Non-drug therapies include:
This table illustrates the results of 41 blood pressure studies.
|diagnosis: systolic hypertension, but normal diastolic bp: 55% responders
|45% did not respond to this dose
|Omega-3 Fish Oil4
|5.6g/day mean dose
|grade I hypertensive patients
Researchers determined that salt intake only adversely affected blood pressure when a person was deficient in calcium. When calcium intake was adequate, salt had no effect on blood pressure. As calcium intake increased, blood pressure decreased. The researchers concluded that salt sensitive hypertension is more likely to indicate a poor diet (lacking in calcium) than a predisposition to hypertension.1
In a meta-analysis of eight CoQ10 studies published in 2003, the mean decrease in systolic blood pressure was 16 mm Hg and in diastolic blood pressure, 10 mm Hg. Researchers concluded: Being devoid of significant side effects, CoQ10 may have a role as an adjunct or alternative to conventional agents in the treatment of hypertension.2
A study evaluated the antihypertensive effectiveness of oral Coenzyme Q10 (hydrosoluble Q-Gel brand) in a cohort of 46 men and 37 women with isolated systolic hypertension. This double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was carried out at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Boise, Idaho, and was published in the November, 2001 Southern Medical Journal.3
The mean reduction in systolic blood pressure of the Q-Gel-treated group was 17.8 +/- 7.3 mm Hg (mean +/- SEM) at the end of the 3-month trial. None of the patients exhibited orthostatic blood pressure changes.
Further analysis indicated that 55% of patients responded to this dose; 45% did not respond. Within the group of responders, the average drop in systolic blood pressure was 25.9 mm Hg. Since this study was not designed to evaluate dose-related responses, it is possible that a higher dose may have increased the number of responders.
These results suggest hydrosoluble CoQ10 Q-Gel may be safely offered to hypertensive patients as an alternative treatment option.3
Harvard researchers conclude that supplementation with 7.7 to 9 grams/day of fish oils will reduce systolic blood pressure by 4 mm Hg and diastolic pressure by 3 mm Hg in hypertensive individuals. Blood pressure reductions may be substantially larger among patients with atherosclerosis or high cholesterol levels.4
Clinical research conducted at Ben-Gurion University, Israel shows that lycopene complex, a tomato extract, reduces blood pressure in patients with mild to moderate hypertension. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant found in red produce such as tomatoes and tomato products, watermelon, and pink grapefruit.
At the end of the 8-week study period, participants' systolic blood pressure dropped to an average of 134 mm Hg from an average of 144 mm Hg, while diastolic pressure dropped to about 83 mm Hg from an average of about 87 mm Hg. “The results of this study are particularly important because our subjects had previously been unsuccessful at lowering their blood pressure using one or two drug methods,” the lead researcher said.5
Lycopene is included in Maximum Vitality™ multi.