High blood pressure, or hypertension, is one of this country’s leading causes of death due to stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure. An estimated 50 million American adults have high blood pressure, but only 68 percent are aware of their condition and only 27 percent have it under control. Before age 55, more men than women have hypertension; after 55, the reverse is true.
Optimal blood pressure is 120/80 or less. The first number measures systolic blood pressure—the force that blood exerts on artery walls as the heart contracts to pump blood. The second number measures diastolic pressure—the force that is exerted on artery walls as the heart relaxes.
Many different factors may contribute to hypertension. So, the good news is that you may have many different and simple options to help get your blood pressure levels back on track. Your food choices, for instance, may allow you better control over your blood pressure. It has been found that people who maintain a diet low in fat and sugar and high in fruits and vegetables can significantly lower their blood pressure. Additionally, a loss of as little as 10 pounds (for those overweight) may lower blood pressure enough for many to reduce or eliminate blood pressure medications.
On another positive note, the total content of sodium in the diet is not as big a risk factor for high blood pressure as once thought. Rather, it is the ratio of sodium to potassium which may be more important. Supplementing or eating foods rich in potassium, such as apricots, bananas, cantaloupe, dates, asparagus, green beans, etc., may lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of stroke by more than half. However, consult your physician before you supplement with or eat a high-potassium diet if you are currently taking potassium-sparing diuretic medications.
Magnesium is another common mineral deficiency for many and proper supplementation may help reduce blood pressure. Sufficient magnesium diminishes the constriction of blood vessels, lessens inflammation, and reduces clotting, which may help to lower blood pressure. The amino acid, taurine, may also be effective. Cardiovascular Research Group has combined magnesium with taurine, aptly called Magnesium Taurate. This effective formula also works well to help abate stress and anxiety, and promote a more restful sleep.
The amino acid, L-arginine, is a precursor for nitric oxide production in the body. Nitric oxide relaxes blood vessels resulting in decreased blood pressure. Eating foods or taking supplements rich in L-arginine has shown to significantly lower blood pressure.
Supplementation with CoQ10 has also proven effective. People taking 100 to 200 mg of CoQ10 per day have been able to scale back the amount of blood pressure medication over the course of one to six months. In other words, CoQ10 can be very effective given time. And, of course, anyone taking a statin medication for cholesterol should also consider CoQ10.
A number of herbs also have a good history of helping to lower blood pressure. Garlic, for instance, has a proven track record. For more than 30 years, Coleus forskohlii, an Ayurvedic herb, has been known in the West to be an effective blood pressure reducer. The herb, hawthorn, has been used successfully as well in people who have other heart issues.
One of my favorite blood pressure recommendations is a combination product called HTN Formula from Tyler. It is a blend of vitamins, minerals, and herbs, which are all associated with reducing blood pressure.
Another option is a very unique supplement recently introduced by Metagenics. Called Vasotensin, it is an extract of certain peptides from the Bonito fish (Sarda orientalis). Backed by research showing it to be both effective and safe, Vasotensin is receiving positive feedback from many of our consumers.
High blood pressure is a prevalent condition in today’s society, resulting in billions of dollars spent annually on its evaluation, treatment, and disability from both itself and associated diseases. However, there are many treatment options that have been proven effective to help lower blood pressure. One, or any combination, of the above is an excellent place to start managing your hypertension.
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