High Blood Pressure | a Natural ApproachDecember 29, 2014 December 29, 2014
“The use of alternative therapies like herbs and dietary supplements is very common among hypertensive and diabetic patients all over the globe. Hypertension is a silent disease that causes increase in cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, renal morbidity and mortality whereas diabetic complications cause heart attack, stroke, blindness and kidney disease. . .
Orthodox drugs used for the treatment of hypertension and diabetes produce side effects such as headache, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, weakness, fatigue and erectile dysfunction. The need for considering alternate therapies in the form of dietary supplements known to promote good health, having little or no side effects therefore arises.” 1
The above research is part of a growing movement to get away from drug management of hypertension because treating high blood pressure can be challenging due of the associated risks. Troubling is that “before treating patients for resistant hypertension, physicians must rule out “pseudoresistance.” Elevated blood pressure during physician visits (“white coat effect”), not taking recommended medications and inaccurate blood pressure measurements can contribute to apparently resistant hypertension.” In other words the doctors and the medication could be suggesting a difficult to treat hypertension where it does not exist2.
Despite the concerns of doctors, some researchers say vitamins and nutrition may not have the benefits many believe they do.
Researchers at John Hopkins School of Medicine acknowledge Vitamin C may have a role in lowering blood pressure, but can’t recommend.
“Our research suggests a modest blood pressure lowering effect with vitamin C supplementation, but before we can recommend supplements as a treatment for high blood pressure, we really need more research to understand the implications of taking them,” says Edgar “Pete” R. Miller III, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor in the division of general internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and leader of a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Roughly 30 percent of adults in the United States have high blood pressure, or hypertension, an important risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Successful treatment may include drugs, exercise, weight loss, and dietary changes such as reducing salt intake. Some experts believe that large amounts of vitamin C, an essential micronutrient found primarily in fruits and vegetables, could lower pressure as well, but randomized, controlled dietary intervention studies — the gold standard of nutrition research — have produced mixed results.
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1. Afolayan AJ, Wintola OA. Dietary supplements in the management of hypertension and diabetes – a review. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2014 Apr 3;11(3):248-58. eCollection 2014.
2. Resistant hypertension: A review for physicians CANADIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION JOURNAL August 18, 2014
1. Juraschek SP, Guallar E, Appel LJ, Miller ER 3rd. Effects of vitamin C supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Apr 4. [Epub ahead of print]