Update (June 2015)
Since writing Bypassing Bypass and the articles here in our
cardiovascular section, I’ve collected a lot of information on
hypertension (high blood pressure) that needs to be passed on.
First off, drugs. Hypertension drugs. Are they effective? Safe?
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 cancers.
These particular drugs have worldwide sales of around $25 billion
with doctors writing out about 82 million prescriptions.
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: 10.1016/S1470-2045(10)70106-6]
This is the
latest study I found linking blood pressure drugs to cancer. In
1996, Hypertension [28:
321-4] published a study out of
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
Bypassing 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.
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: 10.1038/ajh.2010.114]
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.
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]
to aging (past 65), a low carb diet also seems to reduce blood
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 explain.
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 eat blueberries.
Whey Protein & Watermelon
sites will tell you that “more research is needed,” both of these
have been found in studies to lower blood pressure.
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.
Fat Metabolism and Fatty Deposits
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.
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.
The Miracle Molecule
mentioned it, nitric oxide, we need to go into depth on it. However,
I’ve already written about this in our article Stroke Prevention
Basics. And even though I’m going to just copy that here, you really
should read the entire article, because Stroke Prevention is
Here is a short list of all the things Nitric Oxide does for us:
Improves quality of sleep
Assists the immune system fighting off tumors and bacteria
Assists the transmission of information between nerve cells and the
brain (better memory, better reflexes)
Increases endurance and strength
Regulates blood pressure by dilating arteries.
I’ve just read that in 1998, three scientists were given the Nobel
Prize for discovering the signaling role of nitric oxide. Since
then, there have been over 50,000 studies done on nitric oxide. [What is nitric oxide and how does it work?]
As we age, we become less active and we slow the production of
nitric oxide. There are supplements and foods that will assist us in
producing enough to keep our blood pressure under control.
Pycnogenol or grapeseed extract
Ecklonia Cava Extract (works
even better than pycnogenol)
L-Citrulline Malate Complex (recently
discovered to do wonders for chronic fatigue syndrome and
Beet Juice, the latest fad.
I dropped my blood pressure 40 points using L-Citrulline Malate
Complex and still use it when I’m not using beet juice.
All of these or any combination will be helpful, and you’ll
notice the extra energy within a half hour of supplementing. People
who work out always take one or more of these supplements.
All that’s left is to help clear the gunk off your arteries
(arterial plaque) and you’re home free.
Pomegranate juice, Concord
grape juice, and
serrapeptase will do that. Personally, from my
research, the pomegranate juice works best, followed by the serrapeptase, and then the grape juice. However, all of them (either
of them) is better than none at all.
Studies have shown that drinking pomegranate juice regularly will
reduce blood pressure.
That’s it. Now get out there and move your bodies.