Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
From our book
Bypassing Bypass, published in 2002
To the medical community, the
causes of hypertension are not very clear, though the medical and
pharmaceutical industries have recently begun focusing on those
people with a high level of renin in their system. Why? Because it
is treatable with drugs such as beta-blockers. As this is being
written, the news media is reporting how Afro-Americans suffer from
this disorder (high renin levels) more than other nationalities. On
the average, though, only about 10% of people with hypertension have
a high level of renin in their blood. This is why modern medicine
coined the term essential hypertension, to cover all the rest of
those suffering from high blood pressure for unknown causes.
The kidneys produce your renin.
They produce renin when your blood pressure drops (e.g. internal
bleeding due to an accident in which you lose a lot of blood), or
when blood flow to the kidneys is restricted. Your doctor has a
whole line of drugs to inhibit the effects of renin levels—none of
which will extend your life any or increase the quality of it.
We’re basically dealing with
prostaglandin chemistry here and we’re not about to get technical on
you, only to mention that there are good prostaglandins and bad
prostaglandins. Bad prostaglandins are produced by diets high in
certain fats: polyunsaturated oils and trans-fatty acids called
partially hydrogenated oils. These same “bad” prostaglandins are
also responsible for many cancers. To reduce the bad prostaglandins
and promote good prostaglandins you need your essential fatty acids.
Flax oil, hemp oil, fish oils, olive oil (virgin or extra virgin),
macadamia nut oil, and evening primrose oil all contain essential fatty acids. Of
these, hemp oil is the best. Taken with protein, the oils become
water soluble, thus more bioavailable.
Finally, avoid chlorinated
water as if it was poison:
You will hear a lot about
essential fatty acids at this site and in our publications. They
battle, and prevent heart attacks and strokes, and can help to
reverse cardiovascular disease, cancer, and type II diabetes.
The main message in this chapter
is: reduce bad prostaglandins and increase your good prostaglandins
with a proper diet and you’ve got a better handle on your blood
But first an update:
Since writing our book, Bypassing Bypass,
we uncovered a lot of information we put into an article called
Hypertension Update. Instead of linking to it, we're going to
reprint it all here.
Hypertension drugs. Are they effective? Safe?
Lancet Oncology published in 2010 that
angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs) raise the risk of cancer. There
was an overall 11% increase and as much as 25% increase in lung
These particular drugs have worldwide sales of
around $25 billion with doctors writing out about 82 million
Of course drug companies are worried that sales
might take a hit because of this research. Worried over people
getting cancer? Not so much. [Lancet Oncology, 2010; doi:
This is the latest study I found linking blood
pressure drugs to cancer. In 1996, Hypertension [28:
321-4] published a study out of Canada that re-examined seven
previous studies linking various cancers to blood pressure
medications, eg., diuretics and antihypertensives, with researchers
concluding that more research was needed. But with the beta blocker
Atenolol, researchers noted that cancer was twice as common in
people taking it compared to others who did not take it for
Bypass, we pointed out two drawbacks to hypertension drugs. The
first one was that they work only about 50% of the time; the second
one being they pull B-vitamins from the body. B-vitamin deficiency
can bring on congestive heart failure.
There seems to be another problem, and that is
doctors seem to be choosing a one-size-fits-all approach to
hypertension. In a study in which 945 patients were monitored, 16%
of them actually found their blood pressure rose because of their
prescription. [American Journal of Hypertension, 2010; doi:
Additionally, it’s been found that diuretics and
beta blockers increase your risk of diabetes, while ACE inhibitors
and ARBs (the ones that increase your cancer risks) reduce the risk
of diabetes. [The Lancet, 2007; 369: 201-7]
For years, doctors have assumed that blood
pressure rises as we get older. Recent studies show that the reverse
is actually happening, but in stages.
Researchers at the University College London
discovered that when we reach our late fifties, blood pressure
rises; after that, it just naturally falls. Our blood pressure also
changes during the day, leading to doctors misreading our pressure
levels. Thus the definition of “dangerous levels” has changed over
the years. [PLoS Med, 2011; 8: e1000440]
In addition to aging (past 65), a low carb diet
also seems to reduce blood pressure.
In one study of 146 people (with high blood
pressure and overweight), nearly half lowered their blood pressure
on a low carb diet. The latest diet drug, Orlistat, was given people
who were overweight, and just 21% lowered their blood pressure.
[Archives of Internal Medicine, 2010; 170: 136-45]
You might have heard of ACE Inhibitors. Let me
The enzyme Angiotensin II constricts blood
vessels while causing damage to the lining of those vessels as blood
tries to “squeeze through.” The results are stiff and hard arteries.
This enzyme also elevates sodium levels and you retain water (and
your blood pressure goes up). You can get an ACE inhibitor from your
doctor and risk all the drawbacks we’ve discussed above, or you can
Yes, blueberries are ace inhibitors. However, a
blueberry concentrated extract works even better. [Feeding
blueberry diets inhibits angiotensin II-converting enzyme (ACE)
activity in spontaneously hypertensive stroke-prone rats.]
Whey Protein & Watermelon
Though most sites will tell you that “more
research is needed,” both of these have been found in studies to
lower blood pressure.
Watermelon is high in the amino acid L-citrulline,
which provides our body with nitric oxide, that miracle molecule
that relaxes our blood vessels. [American Journal of Hypertension,
2010; doi: 10.1038/ajh.2010.142] Whey protein too has been found to
lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure without
affecting people with normal blood pressure. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22402472]
Fat Metabolism and Fatty Deposits
Science does not support the theory that eating
saturated foods puts fatty deposits on your arteries but that
doesn't stop people in white coats with ritual stethoscopes around
their necks from telling us this myth. However, fatty deposits do
happen and if we can clean the arteries early on, hypertension will
be less of a problem.
Hypertension is the result of two main things:
arteries not getting the nutrition needed and inflammation (caused
by our poor nutrition).
A recent study out of Los Angeles Biomedical
Research Institute found that after a year on Aged Garlic Extract
and CoQ10, they were able to reduce "soft plaque" in people with
metabolic syndrome up to 80%. [Aged
garlic extract and coenzyme Q10 have favorable effect on
inflammatory markers and coronary atherosclerosis progression: A
randomized clinical trial]
Additionally, your body needs more efficient fat
metabolism and one great way to do this is by increasing your body's
release of adiponectin. You need to read the article on adiponectin and
how to get more of it into your blood stream.
Is Hypertension Genetically Inherited?
Now if you visit Dr Bernard
Lown’s web site, the Lown Cardiovascular Center at
www.lown.cc, you will find in an
article on hypertension written by one of his physicians:
“Scientists are still looking for the underlying cause of high blood
pressure, but one thing is clear: It is a disease that travels in
families. If both parents have high blood pressure, there is a
strong likelihood that their children will develop the problem as
Dr Lown has written an amazing
book, The Lost Art of Healing. He invented the direct current
defibrillator for cardiopulmonary resuscitation of a patient dying
suddenly. He has had a glorious career in medicine. However, the
above statement, made by one of his physicians, might lead you to
believe that there is a genetic component to hypertension.
When something runs in a family,
it does not necessarily have to have a genetic component. We learn
our habits at home. Our eating habits are learned in the home. We
eat what our parents ate. It is this simple. The reason some
scientists don’t see this is that they are not paid to see it; and
physicians are not taught to look for nutritional causes to
As we went to print (publishing
Bypassing Bypass in 2002), we learned of a hypertension therapy that
proved itself to be 88% effective. The work leading up to the study
also discovered one of the main causes of essential hypertension.
Here’s what we learned:
Researchers have realized that a
significant number of hypertension patients share a condition of low
blood calcium levels and elevated parathyroid hormone (the hormone
responsible for maintaining blood calcium levels). Something was
definitely wrong with this picture, but the answer evaded most
scientists till a Dr Peter Pang from Canada (and his researchers)
discovered a second hormone produced by the parathyroid gland
responsible for depressing calcium levels. They named it parathyroid
hypertensive factor, or PHF.
Next, Dr Pang—Yale trained with
a background in both Oriental medicine and pharmacology—developed a
product called Pressure FX, a combination of a mushroom (Cordyceps
Sinensis) and shark cartilage. Shark cartilage contains a good
amount of calcium and in animal studies, rats were given
hypertension by injections of PHF and then were injected with shark
cartilage which brought their levels right back down.
Pressure FX has not been widely
tested, though the
limited testing has shown one capsule taken three times a day to
be 65% to 88% effective. It can be ordered from Optimal Health
Resources, 550 Kane Court #100, Oviedo, FL 32765, 888.727.6388, or
try this link:
From Dr Rath’s Research
For hypertension, Dr Rath
recommends adding the following to his basic cellular medicine
Vitamin C: like all
antioxidants, your requirements are based on your lifestyle and
where you live. If you breathe fresh air and drink clean water, your
requirements are at the low end of Dr Rath’s recommendations.
However, if you live in a polluted area your daily requirements can
be up around 5 or 6 grams per day.
Make sure you get a
Vitamin C Complex, with a host of bioflavonoids.
Vitamin E: You can get
mixed tocotrienols, or eat foods high in vitamin E;
wheat germ, nuts, seeds, avocado. These antioxidants protect your
arteries and your blood.
Magnesium: be careful
with magnesium. Again, over 200mgs daily can cause your body to
“dump” needed minerals.
Calcium: there are so
many forms of calcium on the market that it is hard to tell which is
best. Let’s start with Standard Process Labs. They have about 14
products with calcium. Calcium, besides being required for healthy
bones and connective tissues, is a key nutritional factor in a
healthy cardiovascular system, not to mention a healthy immune
system (helps support white blood cell development). Standard
Process Lab’s Calcifood™ is a very complete form of calcium,
containing all the cofactors needed for strong healthy bones and
teeth. Additionally, you will get your glucosamine and chondroitin
for joint support in the best form possible. Taking these two things
separately, without their cofactors, will result in depletion of
those cofactors from other parts of the body. The other form of
calcium SPL manufactures is calcium lactate (if you are a vegan and
do not eat animal products, you are safe here as theirs comes from a
vegetable source). Calcium lactate takes one chemical step to turn
into calcium bicarbonate (the type the body uses and needs). Calcium
carbonate (a very popular brand) takes twelve chemical reactions to
do this and it requires stomach acid. SPL’s version is water-soluble
and highly bioavailable.
Next you have
which is a very good form of calcium and its cofactors, and is a low
grade anti-inflammatory, though it is a bit more expensive than NOW's
Calcium Hydroxyapatite, which is very bioavailable.
Finally you have AquaLyte, which
are sachets of Coral Calcium that you add to your water to "sweeten"
it and raise the pH (to alkaline). Along with their other product,
Ionyte, you're adding very needed minerals to your daily routine
just by drinking water. These are both found at
Simply the Best.
The Miracle Molecule
If you are at all paying
attention, you must know about Nitric Oxide. Everyone in the
universe is talking about it.
Nitric Oxide, or NO, is a “gaseous signaling molecule” in the
lining (endothelium) of our arteries. Signaling is part of
communication. Every system in our body works best when there is
communication, and events are all perfectly orchestrated through
this communication. When there’s a break in communication, say a
necessary chemical is missing, a signaling molecule will communicate
to all systems to get to work and either find this missing chemical
or manufacture it.
Thus one of NO’s jobs is to communicate between the nerves and
the brain. Additionally, it has a role in our immune system in
fighting off invaders and playing defense against tumors. For this
NO is generated by our phagocytes when signaled by interferon or TNF
(tumor necrosis factor). NO also improves sleep, reduces
inflammation, increases strength and endurance, and helps out in
moving our food thru the digestive system.
What we focused on previously in two of our recent articles (last
quarter of 2015) was how NO helps prevent strokes and normalizes
blood pressure, though for us doddering old men, it has a sizable
part in helping erectile dysfunction.
It’s the NO’s cardioprotective function we are most interested in
for this discussion, but first here’s a little fun fact for you: NO
was used in medicine more than 100 years before it was actually
In 1847, Ascanio Sobrero discovered that NG (nitroglycerine)
caused almost an immediate headache when a small amount was applied
to the tongue. Not long afterwards, NG was further diluted to
produce a homeopathic remedy for headaches, following the doctrine
of “like cures like.” [A
short history of nitroglycerine and nitric oxide in pharmacology and
The gas, Nitric Oxide, NO, was discovered in 1998 and the
discoverers won the Nobel Prize in medicine because NO was a
critical factor in preventing hypertension (high blood pressure),
heart disease, and stroke.
These scientists went on to discover ways of boosting NO levels
in the body and settled on the amino acid L-arginine which triggers
an enzyme (eNOS) that makes NO.
Drinks all around.
However, there turned out to be a fly in the ointment.
There seemed to be a cut-off age for NO’s effectiveness. The L-arginine
pathway has been found to lose its effectiveness in middle aged men
(when hypertension and heart disease really starts taking its toll),
and even worse it can do damage. People who’ve had heart attacks get
no NO from this particular pathway, and people with heart disease
can be pushed over the edge taking L-arginine supplements; we found
a study in which six subjects died while taking large doses of L-arginine.
Luckily, there are other pathways to manufacturing NO in the
body, and (you’re going to love this) one is called
“nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway.” [Wikipedia]
nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway in physiology and therapeutics.]
This pathway was first suggested to us by the father of medicine,
Hippocrates when he said: “Let your food be your medicine . . . .”
The nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway takes foods rich in
dietary nitrates and nitrites and converts them to NO.
And these foods will be found in the produce section or at your
local farmer’s market for the most part. You’ll see that you can get
an NO booster from the meat counter too, but the fewer chemicals the
better when choosing meat and fish.
NO is a free radical! Once created, NO has a very short half-life
of just a few seconds!
Having learned this, I came across an article that claimed orange
juice would protect my NO against free radicals and I didn’t know
what to think. Also, this short half-life occurs after NO hits the
The thing is, in its short lifespan, NO attenuates quite nicely
(spreads out) into the endothelial tissues to relax your arteries
and lower your blood pressure.
And get this: the moment sunlight hits your skin NO is released
into your bloodstream. [Sunshine
could benefit health and prolong life, study suggests.]
So, let us go over all of the benefits for NO:
- Anti-hypertensive (maintains healthy blood pressure by
dilating arteries )
- Oxygenation: elevates oxygen delivery during exercise and
increases endurance and strength (you need less oxygen and improves
- Anti-Acid: lowers lactic acid following exercise
- Cardioprotective: slows vascular aging
- Reduces inflammation
- Immunosupportive: fights bacterial infections and tumors
- Assists the transmission of information between nerve cells
and the brain (better memory, better reflexes)
- Improves quality of sleep
We’re going to end with foods (and a few supplements) that boost
NO levels (nitric oxide potency). We’re listing them from the
biggest producers to the least.
Beet Juice/Super Beets
Ecklonia Cava Extract (found at
Simply the Best)
Pomegranate & Pomegranate Juice
Red Beet Roots
Wild Salmon (CoQ10)
Grape Seed Extract
The Downside of NO
Yes, there is a downside. NO stimulates some viruses, like
herpes. So you have to weigh the good and the bad.
Instead of me telling you all this, I’ll let Joey Lott tell you
in his article:
Is Nitric Oxide Good Or Bad?
He’s got some great things to tell you; however, we’ve
prescribed, in the past, a
lot of his recommendations, and if they’re not working
for you, say, you still have a bit of high blood pressure, adding NO
potentiating foods to your regimen might be something to consider.
Additionally, since I play tennis and work out, I ignore the
downside to NO.
Simply the Best sells both
Beet Juice (organic) juice powder and Pomegranate (organic) juice powder.
More Supplements/Foods (Update 2016)
─ Studies show that drinking pomegranate juice
regularly will lower your blood pressure. Above we show you that
this provides nitric oxide, but something else important is going on
here: it's cleaning the fatty deposits off your arteries.
Concord Grape Juice ─
Does the same as pomegranate juice, just not as good. But mix in a
raw egg and you've got a great shot of B-12.
Serrapeptase ─ An anti-inflammatory (used
in European countries as much as NSAIDS) that has an interesting
side effect: cleans your arteries.
MK - 7 ─
Have some patience. This is going to take a while to explain.
I've read an awful lot
about vitamin K for years. It's just plain necessary to good health.
What few realize
is that there are two forms, Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and Vitamin
K2 (menaquinones) and the food sources for these are as dissimilar
as Venus is to Jupiter. Additionally, menaquinoens come in a variety
of forms: MK-4 (found in meats,
highly processed meats like pepperoni)
and MK-7, MK-8, MK-9 found in fermented foods and cheese.
The one fermented
food that has the most MK-7 (the acknowledged best form) is a
fermented dish of soybeans known as natto. It's not on the menu
anywhere I know of, and it doesn't look all that edible, but I would
try it because I like to try new things.
one study in
which higher levels of menaquinoens showed lower levels of
C-Reactive Protein (inflammation index). As you should already know,
inflammation and diabetes go together.
In another study,
people with high blood pressure turned out to also have low levels
of vitamin K1 in their blood. K1, again, comes from dark green
vegetables. Another study showed that people with the most calcium
deposits in their arteries had the lowest serum levels of vitamin
out in these studies that K2 (MK7) has a much longer half-life than
K1, thus sustaining vitamin K serum levels longer.
But most important is the role of vitamin K in keeping
altherosclerotic calcium plaque off our arteries.
“High dietary Vitamin K2 is associated with decreased coronary
calcification and therefore is important to prevent cardiovascular
[problems]” [Beulens J.W. et al. Atherosclerosis 2009 April, PMID
It seems that K1 keeps calcium out of the blood vessels and K2
inhibits calcification, but out of all the thousands of studies
(over 15,000), if you want to clear calcium out of your arteries and
improve blood flow, lowering your blood pressure, MK-7 is the one
that does this.
Again, K1 is easy to get, but has a short half-life. We need our
dark green veggies, but nobody (and I mean nobody) is going to go
out and chow down on natto to get their K2/MK-7.
Thus, if you want MK-7 in your regimen,
you're going to have to supplement like I do, and of course, I like
NOW Foods' version.
This is the one I take. I'm getting up there in age and I've
been told my my docs at the VA that I've got the arteries of a
sixteen year old. I just hope he doesn't want them back soon.
Natto also produces Natokinase,
which is a natural blood thinner. It is enormously hard to find
a product with both of these nutrients in them, even though they
both come from the same source: Natto.
Vitamin K may affect arterial
calcification for hypertensives: Multi-ethnic study
In a recent study involving over
1,000 people over the age of 50, conducted between 2006 and 2010 by
researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, it was learned that
people who volunteered over 200 hours a year were less likely to
develop hypertension than non volunteers, and less likely than
volunteers who performed less than 200 hours a year of volunteering.
[A prospective study of volunteerism and hypertension risk in older
adults. Sneed, Rodlescia S.; Cohen, Sheldon Psychology and Aging,
Vol 28(2), Jun 2013, 578-586. doi:
and understand me.
if you disagree, please don’t make me wrong.
the greatness within me.
to look for my loving intentions.
me the truth with compassion.
Managing From the Heart
( Delacorte Press, 1990)