refers to a condition of elevated blood pressure. It has been called "the silent
killer" because it usually doesn't cause symptoms for many years -- until a
vital organ is damaged. The number of Americans who have high blood pressure is
estimated to be more than 50 million.
More Americans than ever have
hypertension and the number has risen by nearly a third over the past
Being heavy goes hand-in-hand with having hypertension,
especially for women. There are many effective drugs that treat hypertension,
however, it is also a good idea to keep in mind that natural options are also
available that could reduce blood pressure.
Natural Hypertension treatment and remedy - Diet and food selection
Eat more fruits and vegetables -- preferably fresh and organic. Fruits and vegetables have numerous compounds that can dilate blood vessels, including flavonoids. Fortunately for many chocoholics, cocoa, or dark chocolate, has important flavonoids. Eat more garlic since garlic may reduce hypertension. Berries, such as blueberries, are also known to reduce blood pressure.
Reduce salt intake. Individuals with high blood pressure uncontrolled by multiple prescription medications may be consuming too much salt. Some with so-called resistant hypertension have sharp reductions in their blood pressure when they dramatically curtail their salt intake. If Americans were to cut their salt intake to recommended levels, they'd have far fewer cases of high blood pressure, and save billions of dollars in health care costs. American Journal of Health Promotion, September / October 2009.
Try to shed some pounds -- Greater amounts of fat in the abdomen point to an increased risk of developing hypertension. For suggestions, see Weight loss.
Reduce fat intake, such as meats, lard, bacon, hydrogenated oils -- fats found in fish are good.
Reduce caffeine-intake -- skip that second cup of coffee, substitute caffeine-free herbal drinks, limit herbal teas with caffeine to one or two cups. Caffeine found in coffee can raise blood pressure in some individuals, even if they are regular drinkers.
Reduce sugar intake - Eating too many sweets or drinking too much soda raises blood sugar. People who consume a diet high in fructose, a type of sugar and a key ingredient in high-fructose corn syrup, are more likely to have hypertension. Drink more water and avoid sodas except small amounts of diet soda which should not raise blood pressure.
Learn how to sleep better and deeper. Those who sleep deep have a lower risk for hypertension.
Reduce alcohol intake. High amounts of alcohol can certainly aggravate hypertension. Despite its heart benefits, drinking red wine raises blood pressure to the same degree as drinking beer.
Reduce or stop smoking
Try to have less stress in your daily life
Exercise, walk at least one mile per day
Drink unsweetened soy milk and reduce intake of regular milk. The use of soy protein dietary supplements may help reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with early hypertension, July, 2005 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Eating dark chocolate may help lower blood pressure, boost normal responses to insulin to keep blood sugar levels down, and improve blood vessel function in patients with high blood pressure.
Yoga helps those with hypertension
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Ray Sahelian, M.D. include:
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Supplements for hypertension
I will update this page as more information becomes available. If you have hypertension, please discuss with your physician before changing your medicines or adding supplements, especially if you have unstable hypertension.
Fish Oils are useful for thinning the blood and improving circulation and it is now known that those whose diets are high in fish oils have a lower risk for hypertension. It would make sense that supplementing with one to five fish oil capsules a day could perhaps lower the risk for hypertension, but we need more studies to confirm early findings.
Garlic pills or eating garlic could lower BP by a few points.
Potassium is helpful. Those who have low potassium levels are more likely to have high blood pressure.
Antioxidants may be helpful for long term health maintenance of arteries, but not necessarily to lower blood pressure in the short term. Doses can be kept low, such as vitamin C less than 300 mg a day, and natural vitamin E less than 200 units a few days a week. Take a natural vitamin E complex, rather than the synthetic dl-tocopherol.
Lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant in dosage of 10 to 50 mg.
Grape seed extract has been shown to reduce hypertension.
Quercetin is known as a very strong blood vessel dilator. Chronic oral Quercetin exerts antihypertensive effects in spontaneously hypertensive rats.
Genistein is a type of flavonoid found mostly in soy. Genistein helps produce more nitric oxide, a powerful chemical in the blood stream that helps dilate blood vessels. Genistein is available as a supplement. Soy protein supplements are also helpful.
B vitamin and coenzyme complex B6, folate, and B12 are crucial for the health of arteries and to lower homocysteine, an amino acid-like compound in the blood stream that can be toxic in high doses. Some early studies indicated low body levels of vitamin b 12 or other B vitamins may be a cause of elevated blood pressure.
CoQ10 could be helpful in dosages of 20 to 50 mg. The study is discussed below. High CoQ10 dosages could lead to shallow sleep which is not helpful since deep sleep reduces hypertension risk.
Lycopene supplements lowered blood pressure in one study, but if you eat plenty of tomatoes and other foods with lycopene, a supplement is not necessary.
Green tea and oolong tea drinkers are less likely to develop hypertension than non tea drinkers. It would be better to drink tea in the morning since the small amounts of caffeine can interfere with sleep if you drink tea later in the day. It would be best to limit tea intake to one or two cups unless there is no caffeine in the herbal tea you are consuming. Another option is to take green tea extracts with breakfast or lunch.
Calcium and magnesium are important minerals helpful in supporting healthy blood pressure
Hawthorn extract may be helpful.
Vitamin D is a supplement that can be taken from 200 to 600 units a day.
Melatonin once or twice a week at night for better sleep. People being treated for high blood pressure who also take melatonin sleep longer and have a more restful sleep.
Ginkgo low dose, not more than 40 mg, in the morning
Potassium - Potassium citrate has similar hypertension lowering effects as the best-studied potassium compound, potassium chloride.
Dark, but not white, chocolate has polyphenols that may lower hypertension.
Arjuna is an Ayurvedic herb that has promising effects in blood vessel dilation. We have received a few emails that Arjuna supplement use led to a lower blood pressure.
Low dose baby aspirin - be careful since a dose more than 100 mg a day can increase the risk for bleeding and stomach ulcer.
Apocynum venetum is an herb used in China for hypertension treatment.
Drinking hibiscus tea 2 or 3 times a day could lower blood pressure slightly.
Benefits in reducing blood pressure
By reducing blood pressure, you also reduce your risk for stroke, heart disease, aortic aneurysm, and kidney disease, along with an eye disorder called retinopathy,.
Medicines and hypertension increase
NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, decongestants, steroids, estrogen and oral contraceptives, cyclosporine are medications that can make hypertension worse. Those who take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)--such as ibuprofin (Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve) at least 22 days per month appear to be much more likely than others to develop hypertension. This is also true for acetaminophen. Taking aspirin before bedtime--but not at other times of the day--may lower blood pressure in patients with mild hypertension as well as in pregnant women at risk for a dangerous blood pressure-related complication.
If you have hypertension, a physician should make sure you don't have the
Primary hyperaldosteronism and Cushings syndrome. Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Sleep apnea. Most people who have hypertension do not have any symptoms.
Cardiovascular disease is a major problem. Hypertension could lead to left ventricular hypertrophy which could result in congestive heart failure, arrhythmias and myocardial infarction. Other complications of hypertension include stroke and kidney disease.
What the numbers mean
When blood pressure is checked, two values are recorded. The higher one occurs when the heart contracts (systole); the lower occurs when the heart relaxes between beats (diastole). Blood pressure is written as the systolic pressure followed by a slash followed by the diastolic pressure--for example, 120/80 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury). This reading would be referred to as "one-twenty over eighty."
Hypertension is defined as a systolic pressure at rest that averages 140 mm Hg or more, a diastolic pressure at rest that averages 90 mm Hg or more, or both. In high blood pressure, usually both the systolic and the diastolic pressures are elevated. In isolated systolic hypertension, the systolic pressure is 140 mm Hg or more, but the diastolic pressure is less than 90 mm Hg--that is, the diastolic pressure is in the normal range. Isolated systolic hypertension is increasingly common with advancing age. In almost everyone, blood pressure increases with age, with systolic pressure increasing until at least age 80 and diastolic pressure increasing until age 55 to 60, then leveling off or even falling.
A number of medications are used for hypertension, including diuretics, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, vasodilators, ace inhibitors, etc. Are natural treatments for hypertension worth a try?
Smoking, obesity, poor diet, lack of adequate fresh fruits and vegetables, lack of cold water fish, lack of exercise, poor sleep, genetics, stress, insomnia. Red wine might be considered good for overall health, but it may cause hypertension nearly as much as beer does. Too much coffee drinking, especially in men can raise BP.
Most people with mild to moderate high blood pressure will not notice much. Symptoms of severe hypertension include headache, nosebleed, fatigue, chest pain. Therefore, in mild to moderate cases, the condition becomes serious since many years can go on without adequate treatment. In the meantime, there could be damage to the eyes, kidneys, and other organs.
Hypertension can take years off both life expectancy and time lived free of disease. Research, based on data from a long-running U.S. heart-health study, found that the impact of hypertension on life expectancy may be more significant than previously estimated. Researchers found that hypertension at the age of 50 shaved about 5 years off men's and women's lives. It also caused them to endure 7 more years with cardiovascular disease compared with their peers who had normal blood pressure in middle-age. It's well known that hypertension raises the risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney failure, but only a few studies have looked at how hypertension affects longevity.
and its influence
Skimping on sleep over a prolonged period appears to be an important risk factor for developing high blood pressure.
Hypertension Research studies
Short-term administration of dark chocolate is followed by a significant increase in insulin sensitivity and a decrease in blood pressure in healthy persons.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2005.
Numerous studies indicate that flavanols may exert significant vascular protection because of their antioxidant properties and increased nitric oxide bioavailability.. The objective was to compare the effects of either dark or white chocolate bars on blood pressure and glucose and insulin responses to an oral-glucose-tolerance test in healthy subjects. After a 7-d cocoa-free run-in phase, 15 healthy subjects were randomly assigned to receive for 15 d either 100 g dark chocolate bars, which contained approximately 500 mg polyphenols, or 90 g white chocolate bars, which presumably contained no polyphenols. Dark, but not white, chocolate decreases blood pressure and improves insulin sensitivity in healthy persons.
Higher intake of folic acid is associated with a decreased risk of developing hypertension, particularly among younger women.
Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial
of coenzyme Q10 in isolated systolic hypertension.
South Med J. 2001.
Increasing numbers of the adult population are using alternative or complementary health resources in the treatment of chronic medical conditions. Systemic hypertension affects more than 50 million adults and is one of the most common risk factors for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. This study evaluates the antihypertensive effectiveness of oral coenzyme Q10 (CoQ), an over-the-counter nutritional supplement, in a cohort of 46 men and 37 women with isolated systolic hypertension. We conducted a 12-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with twice daily administration of 60 mg of oral CoQ and determination of plasma CoQ levels before and after the 12 weeks of treatment. The mean reduction in systolic blood pressure of the CoQ-treated group was 17.8 +/- 7.3 mm Hg (mean +/- SEM). None of the patients exhibited orthostatic blood pressure changes. Our results suggest CoQ may be safely offered to hypertensive patients as an alternative treatment option.
Clinical efficacy of magnesium supplementation in patients
with type 2 diabetes.
J Am Coll Nutr. 2004.
Effects of magnesium (Mg) supplementation on nine mild type 2 diabetic patients with stable glycemic control were investigated. Water from a salt lake with a high natural Mg content (7.1%) (MAG21) was used for supplementation after dilution with distilled water to 100mg/100mL; 300mL/day was given for 30 days. Fasting serum immunoreactive insulin level decreased significantly. There was also a marked decrease of the mean triglyceride level after supplementation. The patients with hypertension showed significant reduction of systolic, diastolic, and mean blood pressure. The salt lake water supplement, MAG21, exerted clinical benefit as a Mg supplement in patients with mild type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Cold weather snaps can trigger heart attacks, particularly in people suffering from hypertension. The increased rate of attacks seen during wintertime lows is probably due to the fact that cold temperatures increase blood pressure and put more strain on the heart.
High blood levels of uric acid is correlated with obesity and hypertension.
The protective effect of habitual tea
consumption on hypertension.
Arch Intern Med. 2004.
Tea has long been believed to possess hypertension relieveing effects in popular Chinese medicine. However, conflicting results have been shown among human trials and animal studies on the relation between tea consumption and blood pressure. Epidemiological evidence about the long-term effect of tea on hypertensive risk is also inconsistent. We examined the effect of tea drinking, measured in detail for the past decades, on the risk of newly diagnosed hypertension in 1507 subjects (711 men and 796 women), 20 years or older, who did not have a hypertensive history during 1996 in Taiwan. Six hundred subjects (39.8%) were habitual tea drinkers, defined by tea consumption of 120 mL/d or more for at least 1 year. Compared with nonhabitual tea drinkers, the risk of developing hypertension decreased by 46% for those who drank 120 to 599 mL/d and was further reduced by 65% for those who drank 600 mL/d or more after carefully adjusting for age, sex, socioeconomic status, family history of hypertension, body mass index, waist-hip ratio, lifestyle factors (total physical activity, high sodium intake, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, and coffee drinking), and dietary factors (vegetable, fruit, unrefined grain, fish, milk, visible-fat food, and deep fried food intake). However, tea consumption for more than 1 year was not associated with a further reduction of hypertension risk. Habitual moderate strength green or oolong tea consumption, 120 mL/d or more for 1 year, significantly reduces the risk of developing hypertension in the Chinese population.
Pycnogenol, French maritime pine bark extract, improves endothelial function of hypertensive patients.
Life Sci. 2004 Jan.
A placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel group study was performed with 58 patients to investigate effects of French maritime pine bark extract, Pycnogenol, on patients with hypertension. Supplementation of the patients with 100 mg Pycnogenol over a period of 12 weeks helped to reduce the dose of the calcium antagonist nifedipine in a statistically significant manner. Study results support a supplementation with Pycnogenol for mildly hypertensive patients.
Daily nighttime melatonin reduces blood
pressure in male patients with essential hypertension.
Netherlands Institute for Brain Research, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Patients with essential hypertension have disturbed autonomic cardiovascular regulation and circadian pacemaker function. Recently, the biological clock was shown to be involved in autonomic cardiovascular regulation. Our objective was to determine whether enhancement of the functioning of the biological clock by repeated nighttime melatonin intake might reduce ambulatory blood pressure in patients with essential hypertension. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial in 16 men with untreated essential hypertension to investigate the influence of acute (single) and repeated (daily for 3 weeks) oral melatonin (2.5 mg) intake 1 hour before sleep on 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure and actigraphic estimates of sleep quality. Repeated melatonin intake reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure during sleep by 6 and 4 mm Hg, respectively. The treatment did not affect heart rate. The day-night amplitudes of the rhythms in systolic and diastolic blood pressures were increased by 15% and 25%, respectively. A single dose of melatonin had no effect on blood pressure. Repeated (but not acute) melatonin also improved sleep. Improvements in blood pressure and sleep were statistically unrelated. In patients with essential hypertension, repeated bedtime melatonin intake significantly reduced nocturnal blood pressure. Future studies in larger patient group should be performed to define the characteristics of the patients who would benefit most from melatonin intake. The present study suggests that support of circadian pacemaker function may provide a new strategy in the treatment of essential hypertension.
In a major study of blood pressure drugs, patients treated with water pills, or "diuretics," were at increased risk of developing diabetes, according to research presented at the annual scientific meeting of the American Society of Hypertension. But Dr. Joshua Barzilay, from Emory University in Atlanta, said that the increase in diabetes did not translate into an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. In the 42,000-patient study, known as ALLHAT, researchers compared four types of blood pressure drugs: a diuretic, an alpha-blocker, a calcium channel blocker, and an ACE inhibitor. After two years of treatment, 9.3 percent of patients who received a diuretic called Hygroton (chlorthalidone) developed diabetes. In contrast, with the other drugs no more than 7 percent of patients developed diabetes. By 4 years, the difference was still apparent. Barzilay suggested that further studies might be able to determine if costs are increased because those patients who develop diabetes need further treatments.
Soy Milk and Hypertension
Soy milk drinkers have reason to raise their cup and cheer. A recent three month double blind study completed at the School of Medicine in Zaragoza, Spain tested the effect of 500 ml (about a pint) of soy milk compared with the same amount of cow’s milk in 40 men and women with mild-to-moderate hypertension. Before initiation of the study, urinary isoflavonoids (soy contains compounds called isoflavonoids, the best known being genistein) were undetectable in most cases, meaning that their diet contained little or no soy products. After three months of soy milk consumption, systolic blood pressure decreased by 18 mmHg compared with 2 mmHg in the cow’s milk group. Diastolic blood pressure decreased by 15 mmHg versus 4 mmHg in the cow’s milk group. The researchers conclude that chronic soy milk consumption lowers blood pressure in those with hypertension. This blood pressure-lowering action was correlated with the urinary excretion of the isoflavonoid genistein, meaning that the more genistein excreted in the urine (reflecting the higher amount in the body), the lower the blood pressure.
Dr. Sahelian says: Those who drink large amounts of milk should consider reducing their milk consumption and partially or mostly substituting soy milk instead. Try soy milk brands that have a minimal amount of added sugar. Use stevia drops for additional sweetness.
Therapeutic potential of yoga practices in modifying
cardiovascular risk profile in middle aged men and women.
J Assoc Physicians India. 2002.
To study effect of yoga on the physiological, psychological well being, psychomotor parameter and modifying cardiovascular risk factors in mild to moderate hypertensive patients. Twenty patients (16 males, 4 females) in the age group of 35 to 55 years with mild to moderate essential hypertension underwent yogic practices daily for one hour for three months. Yoga can play an important role in risk modification for cardiovascular diseases in mild to moderate hypertension.
Let me tell you how I got hypertension. Last spring I used a hair product containing 2% minoxidil for 5 weeks. It raised my heart rate & lowered my already low 119/78 b.p. so I stopped using it. Two weeks later my b.p. was 160/90. I took hawthorn, co Q10, 800mg calcium, 400mg magnesium, omega 3-6-9 & extra vitamins & minerals. I ate lots of fruit & veggies & lots of bike riding. My b.p. went down to 133/84 & I thought I was home free, but after 3 months of feeling good i got hypertension again. It's been 155/90, 151/88, 144/84 & 160/90. So now I"ve been using dandelion for one week. I can tell my b.p. is lower & my heart rate is lower than before, but I don't feel all that good. Sure I can go to the doctor, but I went to the doctor last summer & she didn't have any answers. It seems that not much is known about minoxidil and hypertension, but I was one healthy 63 year old before but now I don't feel very healthy at all.
I discovered your website by accident, via WebMD. I suffer from hypertension and my present prescribed medication (100 mg Atenolol + 25 mg Hydrochlorothiazide + 5 mg Felodipine) have controlled the diastolic pressure very well, but the systolic remained “around” the 135 – 144 mark. A friend in Pennsylvania was advised by his doctor that ibuprofen taken regularly causes hypertension. Your website seems to confirm this. I’ve been using 400 mg to 800 mg of Advil daily for osteoarthritis…400 mg in the morning & often another 400 mg before bed. This morning I substituted 2 x 325 mg aspirin for the Advil. When I took my blood pressure, it was 125/65!! Yesterday it was 144/72. I thank you for your confirmation of ibuprofen contribution to hypertension!
Q. I have been an eager and meticulous reader of your Newsletter ever since I came to know about you and your work. For sometime, I have also been ordering supplements formulated by you, particularly CoQ10, Prostrate Power, and Passion Rx. I strongly believe in natural remedies for certain health conditions that conventional medicine cannot address properly. I spend a lot of time researching medical conditions and their threatments, and I particularly find your research reviews extraordinarily cumulative, unbiased, informative, and helpful to the layman in understanding the intricacies of treatment alternatives. I comend you for your time and effort. I would be very thankful if you could also list supplements in condition specific order--sometimes those are not--in your website for the convenience of your patients and wellness-seekers. For instance, I have been looking for an alternative to prescription hypertension medication Atenolol, but I have not been able locate it under hypertension or high blood pressure.
vinpocetine safe for
people with uncontrolled hypertension to take? If it dilates the blood vessels
in the brain, is this dangerous for people who are at risk for strokes?
I have not come across studies evaluating the influence of vinpocetine on hypertension. Vinpocetine is actually used to treat strokes.
Which natural supplement is safe for reduction
hypertension. I am taking Coversyl and Lipitor (cholesterol) and I like to
reduce hypertension drugs in the future by taking natural cure.
We can't give specific advice, just general hypertension information.
I am looking for alternative to Clonidine to
treat hypertension. Nothing working only this medication does. My CRP on a high
side. Currently taking Wobenzyme.
Clonidine is a direct-acting alpha2 adrenergic agonist prescribed for hypertension. Your doctor may consider reviewing this page on natural hypertension treatment and help you guide through the alternative options.
I have been dealing with hypertension for more than 30 years with limited success. I have not taken a lot of different drugs but have been on Diovan for a few years. With limited control. I started using L-Arginine a week ago and while I am working out and have always shown some improvement with exercise, since using the L-Arginine my BP has stayed low, longer. I took it just now and it is 117/63 without working out today and with slightly less than 1/2 my usual Diovan dosage. If this continues another few days I will reduce the Diovan to 1/4 and within a few days to none if this continues. Nothing has helped in the past. Fish oil did nothing. I might add I have been dealing with bladder cancer alternatively and have been 'clear' for over five years after doing BCG and having tumors removed three times. I have done Pau d' Arco, astragalus, some EGCG and early on did some IV vitamin C. I did a short spell with Menadione in the IV C. If you wish, I will keep you advised about the BP control with arginine.
i enjoy, and read your newsletter, your staff reported
that someone with low to moderate hypertension, may have up to five years shaved
off their lives, these are people who found out they had it in senior years. I
have had hypertension for many years, since my late thirties, early forties. it
took a long while, and many medications to bring it under control. I am now 62
years old, and my high blood pressure is well under control, could having gotten
it under control helped, or reversed any negative effects it had before? Guess
what i'm asking is could i have added a few years back on?
It's impossible to know for sure, but it is possible that maintaining better blood pressure control can increase longevity.
Are there studies regarding supplements and natural
treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension?
We have not seen much as of 2010, but perhaps garlic could help.
Ashitaba herb benefit
C12 Peptide information
Eucommia and hypertension