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More than 65% of Americans over 65 years of age have hypertension, or blood pressure levels exceeding 140/90 mm Hg. A research study, published in the December 2007 issue of the medical journal, Hypertension, reveals an important relationship between hypertension and disability in later years.

This study reviews data collected from the Charleston Heart Study, in which information on patients’ blood pressure, demographics, and functional ability (tasks typical of activities in daily life, such as walking up stairs, picking up small objects, bathing, dressing, etc.) was collected and assessed. An association was made between stroke-free patients with uncontrolled hypertension (unmanaged high blood pressure despite medication) and a significant increase in risk for that patient to experience disability as they aged in comparison to those with normal blood pressure levels. It was found that increases in systolic blood pressure specifically were even more likely to result in a decline in function.

This study highlights the importance of controlling high blood pressure to improve one’s quality of life and longevity. There are many lifestyle factors that help regulate blood pressure, including achieving a healthy weight, aerobic exercise three times weekly, and consuming a diet of whole foods, abundant in vegetables. There are also key nutrients to moderate blood pressure, including magnesium taurate, CoQ10, fish oil, and L-arginine. A product proven to manage blood pressure is Vasotensin, manufactured by Metagenics. Vasotensin contains bonito fish peptide extract, which has been shown to support blood vessel function and maintain healthy blood pressure levels. It is safe to take in conjunction with blood pressure medications.

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