The discussion in this protocol has provided a general understanding of hypertension in terms of its nature, etiology, anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, endocrinology, biochemistry, neurophysiology, pharmacology, and nutrition. Hopefully, the reader has a better comprehension of the science underpinning hypertension, hypertensive vascular disease and its associated diseases, and the traditional and nontraditional approaches to its therapeutic treatment. This writing was intended to convey an appreciation of the ongoing effort to establish nutritionally based solutions and related protocols that make intuitive sense.
We have established the importance of sodium chloride intake in the pathogenesis of hypertension, shown how chronic hypertension predisposes one to hypertensive vascular disease, and subsequently, the many other common cardiovascular diseases. We believe that damaged vascular endothelial cells contribute to and perpetuate hypertensive vascular disease, which then progresses to many of the more serious, well-recognized cardiovascular disorders. We believe the most immediate key is control of the diet (especially salt intake) and control of the kinds of fat consumed. We cannot overemphasize the importance of avoiding trans -fatty acids, saturated fats, and sugar in favor of omega-3 essential fatty acids, particularly DHA. It is important to get the right combination of GLA, DHA, EPA, monounsaturated fats, fat-soluble antioxidant nutrients (such as coenzyme Q10 and vitamin E), natural vasodilators (arginine), and a good diet based on fruits and vegetables. Such a diet or supplementary dietary protocol will likely reduce the incidence of hypertension and stop the disease progression at it source.General Precautions
As a general precaution, if you are going to use any of the nutrients the Life Extension Foundation recommends to ultimately replace or diminish the amount or number of different anti-hypertensive drugs you take, you must do so with the cooperation and understanding of your physician. Sections from this book can be used to facilitate a meaningful exchange with your physician because we have effectively integrated the scientific concepts of mainstream and alternative medicine. This informative translation indicates that there are complementary nutritional approaches that can assist or replace of use of traditional drug therapies that currently control the symptom of high blood pressure. Daily blood-pressure monitoring is mandatory to ensure that the nutrient regimen is helping to keep your blood pressure under control. Do not consider reducing your use of effective antihypertensive drugs without the concurrence of you physician.
If nutrients alone fail to control your blood pressure, our favorite class of anti-hypertensive drugs continues to be the angiotensin II receptor antagonists for reasons described throughout this protocol. Effective drugs include Cozaar® or Hyzaar®, but particularly, Benicar®, because of its true once-daily dosing properties. Ask your doctor about this newest class of anti-hypertensive medication if you are not satisfied with the drugs you currently use. Many new formulations of anti-hypertensive drugs are advertising once-a-day dosing. Some people need to take these drugs more often for true 24-hour control of hypertension. Learn how to take your own blood pressure to determine if your "one-daily" regimen is providing 24-hour benefit.SUMMARY
- Lifestyle Modifications
- Have your blood pressure checked regularly. If hypertension is present, determine its severity through a retinal exam. Determine if there are signs of congestive heart failure by an echocardiogram.
- Eat more fresh fruits, vegetables. Foods high in fiber have less saturated and trans fats. These foods naturally provide the many minerals, vitamins, and essential fatty acids we recommend below, and many other beneficial natural substances we have yet to define.
- Reduce stress on and off the job. Stress raises blood pressure (adrenaline).
- Moderate alcohol intake. It is now known that a moderate amount of alcohol can help decrease your risk for heart problems. But, it should not exceed 2 ounces per day.
- Exercise regularly and keep your weight within normal limits.
- Stop smoking.
- Precisely follow your doctors prescribed drug regimen.
- Nutritional Recommendations
- Avoid sodium (salt) intake. One-third to one-half of the people with hypertension are significantly benefited by lowering salt intake. Many respond better to their medications when on a low salt diet. Avoid foods containing salt like potato chips, salted nuts and seeds, ham, and other mostly canned prepared foods. Too much salt is typically added to many foods and menu items.
- Q10, 200 to 300 mg per day to lower blood pressure, prevent oxidation, and stabilize cellular membranes.
- Essential fatty acids. We recommend Super EPA.
- Vitamin E, 200-400 IU, as a mixture of gamma- and alpha-tocopherals and tocotrienols to prevent peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids.
- Vitamin C, 2000 mg, three times a day as an antioxidant.
- Potassium, through the use of No-Salt or Lite-Salt, and confer with your doctor. (The DASH diet recommends 500 mg per day.)
- Arginine in doses of 4500 mg, three times per day.
- Super MiraForte to effectively increase free testosterone levels, thus lowering blood pressure. One to two capsules per day.
- Secondary Nutritional Approaches
- Magnesium, 500 to 1500 mg per day (DASH diet).
- Calcium, 1000 elemental mg per day (DASH diet).
- Low-dose aspirin, 1/4 aspirin tablet every day with the heaviest meal of the day, to reduce possible cardiovascular complications associated with hypertension.
- Garlic, 1500 to 6000 mg per day, though garlic is probably more effective for other established cardiovascular diseases.
- Nutrients that lower homocysteine levels, such as folic acid, B6, B12, and trimethylglycine (if your homocysteine levels are over 7 micromoles/L, to prevent endothelial cell damage).
Diuretics, beta-blockers, central acting sympatholytics, alpha-blockers, vasodilators, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and calcium-channel blockers, among others, are drugs that can be prescribed to lower blood pressure. It cannot be stressed enough that you should be sure to follow your doctor's directions exactly if the doctor prescribes medicine to lower your blood pressure. Make sure your doctor knows all the prescribed and over-the-counter medicines you are taking.For more information
Contact the American Heart Association, 7272 Greenville Ave., Dallas, TX 75231; (800) 242-8721, Monday to Friday 8:30 to 5:00; the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Information Center, P. O. Box 30105, Bethesda, MD 20824-0105; (800) 575-WELL, 24-hr recorded information. (301) 251-1222, Monday to Friday 8:30 to 5:00 EST.