Dr. Overberg's High Blood Pressure One of Three
High Blood Pressure – Part 1 of 3 by Jim McAfee, CCN. He graciously shared his excellent article. Jim is a 30+ years friend and nutrition colleague of mine.
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common condition in which excessive pressure builds up in the circulatory system. Blood pressure is measured by two numbers. A higher number, called the systolic, is placed over a lower number, the diastolic. The unit of measure is millimeters of mercury.
A normal blood pressure is less than 120/80. Elevated is 120-129/80. Stage 1 hypertension is 130-139/80- 89. Stage 2 hypertension is over 140/ 90. A hypertension crisis is considered to be a measurement greater than 180/120.
There are two types of high blood pressure. Essential is a term used when the cause is not clear. This term is used to describe over 90% of all cases of hypertension. Secondary hypertension is a term used when the cause of the elevated blood pressure is identified. The most common causes of secondary hypertension are kidney disease, pregnancy, and effects of medications and birth control pills.
The first medical line of treatment for high blood pressure is diuretics. They cause the body to lose water lowering blood pressure. These medications can contribute to deficiencies of potassium and magnesium. The potassium is often supplemented while magnesium is often overlooked. This is a problem due to the fact that low magnesium can contribute to high blood pressure.
Elevated blood pressure can lead to many health problems. Elevated pressure in the circulatory system damages and narrows the arteries over time and contributes to lack of elasticity. Bulges can appear in the walls of the blood vessels. If these rupture, they can lead to life threatening internal bleeding. This commonly happens in the aorta, the main artery that carries blood away from the heart.
Hypertension can contribute to angina or chest pain due to narrowed blood vessels. It can also contribute to an irregular heartbeat. The heart canal so become enlarged leading to heart failure.
Brain damage is a risk resulting from high blood pressure. Brain damage can result from strokes resulting from rupture of leaks in blood vessels, or damage can result from the formation of blood clots blocking blood flow. Damage to the brain can result in mild cognitive impairment or full-blown dementia.
Hypertension can also lead to kidney damage or kidney failure. This can result in fluid accumulation further worsening a case of high blood pressure. High blood pressure can also result in damage to the eyes including retinopathy, bleeding in the eye, blurred vision,and blindness. It can also result in erectile dysfunction in men.
High blood pressure is strongly associated with a poor diet. The most commonly recommended diet is called the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). This diet focuses on avoiding refined grains, sugar, salt, and red meat. Participants are encouraged to consume whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds,chicken and fish.
Of particular benefit berries and greens are often mentioned. These foods are contributors to healthy nitric oxide formation which works to dilate the blood vessels. Greens contain nitrates while nuts and chocolate contain arginine.All of these foods are precursors to nitric oxide which dilates and relaxes blood vessels. Berries and pomegranate have a protective effect on nitric oxide prolonging the short life of the molecule and thus improving blood flow.
Karanja N, ErlingerTP, et al, “The DASH Diet for High Blood Pressure: From Clinical Trial toDinner Table,” Cleveland Clin J Med, September 2004;71(9):745-753.
High blood pressure can have many causes or contributors. Among the causes are poor diet, toxic exposures, lack of exercise, stress, aging, sleep apnea and weight gain,and nutrient deficiencies.
Sodium and Potassium
Excessive sodium intake has long been considered a contributor to high blood pressure. Recent observations suggest that sodium creates problems when other nutrients are missing or unbalanced and when the inner lining of the blood vessels is not healthy.
The ratio of sodium to potassium is of particular importance since the two nutrients are inversely related. In other words, a high intake of sodium can lead to elimination of potassium and a high intake of potassium can lead to loss of sodium.
There is little doubt that a percentage (about 50%) of those with hypertension are salt sensitive and see elevations in blood pressure when excessive salt is consumed. One contributing factor is a diet insufficiently supplied with potassium or overloaded with foods with a high sodium content.
A group of 98 vegetarians was compared with a matched group of non-vegetarians with similar salt intake. The average blood pressure of the vegetarians was 126/77 while that of the vegetarians was 147/88. Only 2% of the vegetarians had hypertension while 26% of the non-vegetarians had high blood pressure. The researchers noted that the potassium intake of the vegetarians was much higher. Several studies have found an inverse association between blood pressure and the ratio of potassium to sodium in the diet.
Some additional notes from Jim McAfee:
Nitric Oxide and Blood Pressure
This month's newsletter was written before the introduction of NeoLife UPBEET, #3216 which is designed to increase nitric oxide production. Low levels of nitric oxide are associated with increased blood pressure. Increasing levels of nitric oxide can lower blood pressure in situations where other measures are ineffective.
The amino acid arginine is the precursor to nitric oxide. This is found in NeoLife's Biotone, #3280. Polyphenols also improve the functioning of nitric oxide. These are found in NeoLife Tre, #3010. These two supplements are wonderful support for the new UPBEET product.
Moncada, S., et al., Role of endothelium-derived nitric oxide in the regulation of blood pressure, Proc. Nati. Acad. Sci. USA, May 1989; 86: 3375-3378.
Napoli, Claudio, et al., Pomegranate juice protects nitric oxide against oxidative destruction and enhances the biological actions of nitric oxide, Nitric Oxide, 2006;15(2):93-102.
Garlic and Blood Pressure
Garlic has been repeatedly shown to be a blood pressure lowering agent. Not only does it enhance nitric oxide functioning, but the sulfur compounds also appear to be of benefit. Garlic appears to lower both systolic and diastolic pressure by a little under ten points.
Ried K, Fakler P., Potential of garlic (Allium sativum) in lowering high blood pressure: mechanisms of action and clinical relevance. Integr. Blood Press Control. 2014 Dec 9;7:71-82.
Drron's note: Anybody who heard me talk about magnesium knows why doctor's seldom add magnesium. Blood magnesium is maintained at the expense of muscle magnesium!
Enjoy poetry by Joan Walsh Anglund. So, few words, that touch so deep!
Beauty arranges itself in the folds and crevices of Nature,
... and waits to be discovered.
How is drron? I am good. Sometimes Chris comes over (me), and we have good visits. Visits that leave me grateful for everything I received. After the rains everything here is growing and blooming like crazy, trying to make up for all the 100-degree days. Walks are wonderful, it feels like spring. I can just hear Chris: “Stop Ron! Look at this!” Those were the best nature appreciation lessons I received. I am of to Florida for a week of diving. This time I will take both the camera housing and the camera. Now fingers crossed for some good pictures.
How is Beau? Happy, my hunting buddy Ross is now our housemate. He feeds Beau when I am late, and shares his snacks. For Beau food is number one. Dinner should be served punctually at 5pm! Beau learned to bob for mini-marshmallows in his water bowl. He just plunges his mouth in. I have a bird feeder for mama squirrel and she entertains us with her acrobatics.
I make appointments with existing clients or their referrals, on Monday, Wednesday afternoon, and Friday. Tuesdays and Thursday afternoons I am at the Environmental Health Center. When you send me an email, follow up, call and text me that you have an email in the cue, you will get a quicker response! Use: firstname.lastname@example.org and 972-816-5892. I welcome reminders.
Please Note: Above statements are not written by Health Realizations nor the opinion of Health Realizations