High blood pressure is the most important risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in industrialized countries. At least 65 million Americans have blood pressures that place them at significantly high risk for heart attacks, heart failure, kidney failure, thoracic and abdominal aneurysms, and stroke. Hypertension is also associated with cognitive dysfunction, erectile dysfunction, and loss of vision. The higher the pressure, the greater the risk of complications.1
How is hypertension defined? In 2014, the Journal of the American Medical Association published the eighth report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure.2 For those aged less than 60 years, it recommends initiation of treatment at a blood pressure above 140/90 mmHg. For those older than 60 years, treatment is recommended at anything above 150/90 mmHg.
In conventional medicine, there is certainly no shortage of medications used to address high blood pressure. Integrative therapy on the other hand, starts with lifestyle modification, primarily involving smoking cessation and incorporation of exercise.3 It also involves a shift in diet towards more of a Mediterranean diet. One of the main components of the Mediterranean diet is olive oil, which provides both high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids, principally oleic acid, and healthy polyphenols.4 Other dietary changes include incorporation of cocoa5, red wine6, foods containing omega-3 fatty acids such as cold-water-fish7, fiber8, flaxseed.9 Dietary recommendations include Coenzyme Q1010 and garlic.11,12
We’ve had many clients approach Rocky Mountain Regenerative Medicine, requesting assistance in stopping their traditional anti-hypertensives. Many of these medications have an unfavorable side-effect profile and we’re committed to restoring normalcy by eliminating those medications and effects. This has to obviously be done safely and takes a client whose committed to making and maintaining appropriate lifestyle changes.
- A.V. Chobanian, G.L. Bakris, H.R. Black, et al.: Seventh report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure.Hypertension. 42:1206-1252 2003
- P.A. James, S. Oparil, B.L. Carter, et al.: 2014 evidence-based guideline for the management of high blood pressure in adults: report from the panel members appointed to the Eight Joint National Committee (JNC 8). JAMA. 311 (5):507-520 2014
- L.S. Pescatello, B.A. Franklin, R. Fagard, et al.: American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Exercise and hypertension. Med Sci sports Exerc. 36:533-553 2004
- S. Terés, G. Barceló-Coblijn, M. Benet, et al.: Oleic acid content is responsible for the reduction in blood pressure induced by olive oil. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 105:13811-13816 2008
- D. Taubert, R. Roesen, E. Schömig: Effect of cocoa and tea intake on blood pressure: a meta-analysis. Arch Intern Med. 167 (7):626-634 2007
- L. Brown, P.A. Kroon, D.K. Das, et al.: The biological responses to resveratrol and other polyphenols from alcoholic beverages. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 33:1513-1523 2009
- D.P. Begg, A.J. Sinclair, L.A. Stahl, et al.: Hypertension induced by omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid deficiency is alleviated by alpha-linolenic acid regardless of dietary source. Hypertens Res. 33:808-813 2010
- S.P. Whelton, A.D. Hyre, B. Pedersen, et al.: Effect of dietary fiber intake on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled clinical trials. J Hypertens.223:475-481 2005
- D. Rodriquez-Leyva, W. Weighell, A.L. Edel, et al.: Potent antihypertensive action of dietary flaxseed in hypertensive patients. Hypertension. 62 (6):1081-1089 2013
- P. Langsjoen, P. Langsjoen, R. Willis, R. Folkers: Treatment of essential hypertension with coenzyme Q10. Mol Aspects Med. 15 (Suppl):265-272 1994
- K. Ried, O.R. Frank, N.P. Stocks, et al.: Effect of garlic on blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 16:8-13 2008
- K.M. Reinhart, C.I. Coleman, C. Teevan, et al.: Effects of garlic on blood pressure in patients with and without systolic hypertension: a meta-analysis. Ann Pharmacother.42:1766-1771 2008