Hypertension alternative therapy approaches, vitamins, minerals

March 28 2014

Hypertension alternative treatment
Prevention and management of hypertension are the major public health challenges worldwide. Uncontrolled high blood pressure may lead to a shortened life expectancy and a higher morbidity due to a high risk of cardiovascular complications such as coronary heart disease (which leads to heart attack) and stroke, congestive heart failure, heart rhythm irregularities, and kidney failure etc. Many dietary constituents contribute to human cardiovascular health. There has been an increased focus on identifying these natural components of foods, describing their physiological activities and mechanisms of actions. Grain, vegetables, fruits, milk, cheese, meat, chicken, egg, fish, soybean, tea, wine, mushrooms, and lactic acid bacteria are various food sources with potential antihypertensive effects. Their main bioactive constituents include angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory peptides, vitamins C and E, flavonoids, flavanols, cathecins, anthocyanins, phenolic acids, polyphenols, tannins, resveratrol, polysaccharides, fiber, saponin, sterols, as well as K, Ca, and P. They may reduce blood pressure by different mechanisms, such as ACE inhibition effect, antioxidant, vasodilatory, opiate-like, Ca(2+) channel blocking, and chymase inhibitory activities. These functional foods may provide new therapeutic applications for hypertension prevention and treatment, and contribute to a healthy cardiovascular population. The low-sodium diet is a known preventive factor for elevated BP and cardiovascular disease.

Supplements that are of benefit in those with hypertension
In recent years, nutraceuticals and functional foods have attracted considerable interest as potential alternative therapies for treatment of hypertension, especially for prehypertensive patients, whose blood pressure is marginally or mildly high but not high enough to warrant the prescription of blood pressure-

Antioxidants such as vitamin C and E
B vitamin and coenzyme complex — vitamin B6, folate, and B12
Vitamin D is a supplement that can be taken from 200 to 600 units a day.
Calcium and Magnesium are important minerals helpful in supporting healthy blood pressure
Potassium - Potassium citrate has similar hypertension lowering effects as the best-studied potassium compound, potassium chloride.
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.
Fish Oils supplement
Garlic or perhaps garlic pills may reduce your blood pressure. Hartford Hospital researchers reviewed studies with garlic done in the last few years and concluded that the use of this herb can help systolic blood pressure drop by 16 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 9 mmHg. The use of garlic apparently did not reduce blood pressure in those with normal blood pressure.
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.
Grape Seed Extract was shown to reduce hypertension in a study.

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.
Hawthorn extract may be helpful.
Pomegranate - Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2012. Effects of pomegranate juice supplementation on pulse wave velocity and blood pressure in healthy young and middle-aged men and women.
Br J Nutr. 2013. Effect of probiotic fermented milk on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.
Quercetin is known as a very strong blood vessel dilator. Chronic oral quercetin exerts antihypertensive effects in spontaneously hypertensive rats.

Q. I am a Family Physician in Toronto, Canada. My husband suffers with hypertension and hypokalemia due to primary hyperaldosteronism. He is on Amlodipine, Amiloride and Magnesium Oxyde, but his BP is still high and his potassium is barely kept at the lower limit of normal. Is there any hope for alternative medicine to improve his condition? A natural alternative herbal therapy would suit her so well.
   A. There may be hope, you may find some of the suggestions on this hypertension page to be helpful.

Q. I am in my late forties and just starting my menopause i also have hypertension and i am taking medication for it but i notice that my sex drive is not what it use to be i would like to start taking herbal aphrodisiac sex tablets but i would like to know if it is okay.
   A. Some herbal aphrodisiacs raise blood pressure in high dosages. If your doctor approves, you can begin with any of a number of aphrodisiac herbs and begin with a portion of a capsule and monitor your blood pressure.

Q. The combo of carnitine, lipoic acid, and Co Q10 works fabulously for blood pressure in conjunction with my Diovan HCT. It has kept me from having to increase doses or adding another med.
   A. There are a number of underused supplements for blood pressure control and I wish more doctors were familiar with them.

I have been taking Omega Q Plus for several months for high B/P however I have not seen any results as far as lowering it. I added Nattokinase and that a\so hasnt done anything as far as high Blood pressure. My Dr. has tried different drugs and they also do not bring it down. Today it is 194/102 pulse rate 73. How long does it take to see omega plus work?
    Supplements, if they are effective, should start working within the first few weeks. Perhaps other supplements or lifestyle changes are appropriate.

Some herbal medicines that may have potential
Malays J Nutr. 2011. In vitro inhibitory potential of selected Malaysian plants against key enzymes involved in hyperglycemia and hypertension. Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Universiti Putra Malaysia, UPM, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.  This study was conducted to determine the inhibitory potential of selected Malaysian plants against key enzymes related to type 2 diabetes and hypertension. The samples investigated were pucuk ubi (Manihot esculenta), pucuk betik (Carica papaya), ulam raja (Cosmos caudatus), pegaga (Centella asiatica) and kacang botol (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus). The inhibitory potential of hexane and dichloromethane extracts against the enzymes were determined by using alpha-amylase, alpha-glucosidase and angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition assay. In alpha-amylase inhibition assay, the inhibitory potential was highest in pucuk ubi for both hexane (59%) and dichloromethane extract (54%). Hexane extract of pucuk ubi (95%) and dichloromethane extract of kacang botol (38%) showed the highest inhibitory potential against alpha-glucosidase, while in ACE inhibition assay, the inhibitory potential was highest in hexane extract of pegaga (48%) and dichloromethane extract of pucuk betik (59%). This study suggests a nutraceutical potential of some of these plants for hyperglycemia and hypertension prevention associated with type 2 diabetes.

My husband and I have been taking vitamins for the past 30 years and at this time we need to find a doctor that knows something about natural cures. My husband has high blood pressure and would like to continue with vitamins because all of the blood pressure medications have bad side effects.

Natural Therapies for hypertension including diet, food, and lifestyle changes
Reduce salt intake. Hyponatremia occurs when blood sodium levels become abnormally low.
Try to shed some pounds --
Greater amounts of fat in the abdomen point to an increased risk of developing high blood pressure.
Eating lots of whole grains reduces high blood pressure. In the study, men with the highest whole-grain consumption were 19 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure than men who ate the least amount of whole grains. While refining grains removes their outer coating, whole grains retain their bran and germ, so they are richer in many nutrients. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition September 2009.

Reduce alcohol intake
Reduce or stop smoking
Try to have less stress in your daily life
Reduce fat intake, except from fish oils
Reduce caffeine intake, skip that second cup of coffee, substitute caffeine-free herbal drinks.
Exercise, walk one more mile per day
Eat more fruits and vegetables, onions, and garlic. Garlic consumption may be of help.
Garlic can reduce blood pressure by a small amount and is beneficial in those looking for vitamins and natural supplements for natural hypertension reduction.
Drink more water
Yoga helps lower blood pressure

Garlic for hypertension
Doctors at Hartford Hospital, in Hartford, CT, reviewed several studies with garlic done in the last few years and concluded that the use of this herb, on average, can help systolic blood pressure drop by 16 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 9 mmHg. The use of garlic apparently did not reduce blood pressure in those with normal blood pressure. A review by another team of researchers at The University of Adelaide in South Australia found garlic reduced systolic blood pressure by 8 mm Hg, on average, and diastolic blood pressure by 7 mm Hg. Although the actual mg of pressure reduction is still not clear, it does appear that garlic consumption is of benefit to those with blood pressure problems The amount of garlic used in the studies was about a gram, providing about 5 mg of allicin, one of the active ingredients in this herb. Sulfides present in garlic are converted by red blood cells into hydrogen sulfide which helps to dilate blood vessels. If you have hypertension you may consider eating more garlic or taking a garlic supplement. An average garlic clove weighs about 3 to 5 grams.
   Those who are already on blood pressure medications are not likely to have significant side effects when adding fresh garlic to their diet. However, do discuss with your doctor that you are planning to take garlic and initially use only a small clove once a day. Over time you can gradually increase the amount of garlic you use while you monitor your blood pressure. Hopefully it may be possible to reduce the dosage of BP medications if the garlic helps reduce BP by a few points. Those concerned about garlic breath may consider taking odorless garlic pills.

Plants used in Trinidad and Tobago to treat hypertension
Aloe vera, Annona muricata, Artocarpus altilis, Bixa orellana, Bidens alba, Bidens pilosa, Bonta daphnoides, Carica papaya, Cecropia peltata, Citrus paradisi, Cola nitida, Crescentia cujete, Gomphrena globosa, Hibiscus sabdariffa, Kalanchoe pinnata, Morus alba, Nopalea cochinellifera, Ocimum campechianum, Passiflora quadrangularis, Persea americana and Tamarindus indicus.

Cause of Hypertension
Diet, lack of physical activity, poor sleep, stress, and smoking are associated with hypertension. A person's risk of developing hypertension rises along with weight, even when it's within normal range. The higher a person's body mass index (BMI), the higher his risk of developing hypertension. High blood levels of uric acid is correlated with obesity and hypertension.
Being heavy goes hand-in-hand with having hypertension. 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. Regular use of acetaminophen may also contribute to hypertension.

Medicines that can lead to hypertension
NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, decongestants, steroids, estrogen and oral contraceptives, cyclosporine.

Dietary supplements that can cause a rise in blood pressure
Does the herb yohimbe bark cause hypertension elevations? What about
tongkat ali extract?
   High dosages may elevate blood pressure, particularly yohimbe bark extract.

If you have hypertension, a physician should make sure you don't have the following:
Primary hyperaldosteronism and Cushing’s syndrome. Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Sleep apnea.

Untreated hypertension can lead to cardiovascular disease such as left ventricular hypertrophy which could lead to congestive heart failure, arrhythmias and myocardial infarction, along with stroke, and kidney disease. People with a history of hypertension are at an increased risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, a condition that involves difficulties with thinking and learning.

Cognitive decline
Cognitive function is the term used to describe a person's state of consciousness (alertness and orientation), memory, attention span, and insight. Hypertension is a type of cardiovascular disease characterized by elevation of blood pressure above the level considered normal for people of similar racial and environmental backgrounds. It is also referred to as high blood pressure. According to studies, high blood pressure is linked to memory problems in adults over the age of 45.

Hypertension medication and risk of diabetes
Patients with hypertension are more likely to develop new-onset diabetes than those who don't have hypertension, but this tendency is often attributed to higher weight, recent weight gain, or stronger family history of diabetes among those with high blood pressure. Doctors have known since 1958 that some drugs used to control hypertension have the side effect of increasing blood sugar and causing new-onset diabetes. Researchers at Rush University Medical Center analyzed the data and have found significant differences between hypertension drugs. ACE-inhibitors and the newer angiotensin receptor blockers, or ARBs prevent people from getting diabetes, and the older diuretics or beta-blockers, increase the chance that a person becomes diabetic. The lowest risk of new-onset diabetes occurs with angiotensin receptor blockers or ACE-inhibitors, followed by calcium channel blockers, and highest with beta-blockers or diuretics. Diuretics or beta-blockers slightly increase the risk of becoming diabetic.

Hypertension in children and teenagers
Children and teenagers with high blood pressure may have more difficulty with memory, planning and tackling complex tasks than their peers. Journal of Pediatrics, February 2009.

Hypertension and alternative treatment questions
Q. I'm confused on which supplements to purchase for hypertension. I'm 47 years old, my weight 145 pounds, I work in a highly stressful job, my blood pressure is 180/100 or 170/110. My medical doctor placed me on hypertension medicine the lowest dosage and I was unable to stand on my feet at all, I felt dizzy, he then put me on hydrochlorothiazide 12.5 mg and I broke out of hives all over my body. So now I am taking nothing. I walk on a treadmill in the morning 5 days a week. My diet consist of mostly salmon, sardines, butterfish and vegetables. No meat. I'm asthmatic and only have 1and 1/2 lung. Could you please direct me to which supplements that will help me to lower my hypertension.
   A. We can't give any individual advice you are welcome to discuss the information on this hypertension page with your doctor.

Q.  I am a Veteran and I love to have sex. I have hypertension and the VA Doctor put me on Amlodipine Besylate 10 MG Tab, Hydrochlorothiazide 12.5 MG tab, and Atenolol 25MG tab Daily. I am 61 years old. They think without the medicine I might have a heart attack. It's been a week now and I cannot get an erection and have a normal sex, I can have oral sex with my partner. Will oral sex cause any problems? Before I can have normal erection sex they want to put me thru some tests first, like blood work and evaluation process. Doctor said no sex now or I might have a heart attack. Please help me with your advice, because I want to live and get my hypertension under control and still have sex.
   A. Sexual activity can cause heart cardiovascular problems in those who have weak hearts or uncontrolled hypertension. Much depends on how fast and hard the heart is beating during sexual activity. If there is no significant change in heart beat or heart rate during the oral sex activity, it would be okay, but the final decision rests on you and your doctor.