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Life Extension Magazine

LE Magazine August 2003

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The New Guidelines For Hypertension
How Mainstream Medicine Has Again Caught Up With Anti-Aging Advocates

By Dr. Edward R. Rosick

CoQ10

While CoQ10 has been in the news lately in regards to its ability to fight Parkinson's disease, several studies have shown that this important supplement can also help decrease blood pressure. 21.22.23.24 A recent randomized, double-blind placebo controlled trial reported on the efficacy of CoQ10 in combating hypertension in a group of 76 men and women with isolated systolic hypertension. 25 For 12 weeks, the patients were either given 60mg/day of CoQ10 or a placebo. At the end of the 12 weeks, the patients taking the CoQ10 showed a mean reduction in their systolic blood pressure of approximately 18 points, leading the authors of the study to conclude that "our results suggest CoQ10 may be safely offered to hypertensive patients as an alternative treatment option."

Garlic

Garlic has been used for centuries as a folk remedy for a variety of ailments. Now, modern medicine is (again!) catching up with age-old wisdoms and demonstrating through rigorous scientific testing that garlic indeed is important for both its culinary and medicinal uses. Multiple reports have shown that both fresh garlic and garlic supplements can slightly lower total cholesterol and triglyceride levels.26 An article in the prestigious Journal of Hypertension examined the results of seven randomized, placebo-controlled studies on garlic's effect on hypertension.27 The authors of the study found that garlic supplements, in the dose of 600 to 900 mg/day (which is roughly equivalent to two to three cloves of fresh garlic), reduced systolic blood pressure from 7.7 to 11.1 points and diastolic pressure by 5.0 to 6.5 points.

Fish oil

Fish oil supplements have gained the 'honor' of being one of the few nutriceuticals that have been endorsed by a major health organization in the United States-in this case, the American Heart Association (AHA). In the fall of 2002, the AHA made the formal declaration that people with known heart disease should consume approximately 1 gram of the active ingredients in fish oil (i.e., the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA). In order to follow that recommendation, people who don't consume large quantities of fresh fish every single day need to take fish oil supplements.

In addition to being quite useful in preventing the deadly consequences of heart disease, fish oil supplements also are proving to be effective fighters of hypertension. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 78 people with untreated hypertension showed that fish oil supplements, besides decreasing triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels, caused a statistically significant decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements.28

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Preventing hypertension is a matter of life and death

It is basic human nature to promptly respond to immediate threats to our health and safety. However, threats such as hypertension, which can take years or decades to exert its damaging effects on the body, are easy to forget about or rationalize in an attitude of "it can't happen to me." Unfortunately, such an attitude can lead to heart disease, impotence, non-Alzheimer's dementia and an early death. By following a healthy lifestyle that includes a diet high in fruits and vegetables, avoiding all tobacco products, maintaining a reasonable weight and taking safe and effective supplements, stealth diseases such as hypertension can be kept from stealing your health and your life.


References

1. Calvert, JF. Hypertension. Clinics in Family Practice 2001; 3(4): 733-56.

2. Stamler, J. Low risk factor profile and long-term cardiovascular and noncardiovascular mortality and life expectancy: findings for five large cohorts of young adult and middle-aged men and women. JAMA 1999; 282(21): 2012-18.

3. Stamler, J. et al. Relationship of baseline major risk factors to coronary and all-cause mortality, and to longevity: findings from long-term follow-up of Chicago cohorts. Cardiology 1993; 82(2-3): 191-222.

4. Chobanian AV et al. The seventh report of the joint national committee on prevention, detection, evaluation, and treatment of high blood pressure. JAMA 2003; 289 (19): 2560-75.

5. Maizes V. Integrative approaches to hypertension. Clinics Fam Practice 2002; 4(4): 895-905

6. Cushman WC et al. Prevention and treatment of hypertension study (PATHS): effects of an alcohol treatment program on blood pressure. Arch Int Med 1998; 158(11): 1197-207.

7 Verdecchia P et al. Cigarette smoking, ambulatory blood pressure and cardiac hypertrophy in essential hypertension. Jour Hypertension 1995; 13: 1209-15.

8. Larbarthe D, Ayala C. Nondrug interventions in hypertension prevention and control. Cardiology Clinics 2002; 20(2): 249-63.

9. Espeland MA. Predictors and mediators of successful long-term withdrawal from antihypertensive medicines. Arch Fam Med 1999; 8: 228-36.

10. Allender PS et al. Dietary calcium and blood pressure: A meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Arch Intern Med 1996; 124: 825-31.

11. McCarron, DA. Importance of dietary calcium in hypertension. Jour American College Nutrition 1998; 17(1): 97-98.

12. Witteman JCM et al. A prospective study of nutritional factors and hypertension among US women. Circulation 1989; 80(5): 1320-27.

13. McCarron DA. Role of adequate dietary calcium intake in the prevention and management of salt-sensitive hypertension. Am J Clin Nutr 1997; 65(supp): 712S-16S.

14. Kumar KV, Das UN. Are free radicals involved in the pathology of human essential hypertension? Free Rad Res Commun 1993; 19(1): 59-66.

15. Newez MA et al. Effect of gamma tocotrienol on blood pressure, lipid peroxidation and total antioxidant status in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Clin Exp Hyperten 1999; 21(8): 1297-1313.

16. Salonen JT et al. Blood pressure, dietary fats, and antioxidants. Am Jour Clin Nutr 1988; 48: 1226-32.

17. Enstrom JE, Kanim LE, Klein MA. Vitamin C intake and mortality among a sample of the United States Population. Epidemiology 1992; 3: 194-202.

18. Duffy SJ et al. Treatment of hypertension with ascorbic acid. Lancet 1999; 354(9195): 355-64.

19. Taddei S et al. Vitamin C improves endothelium-dependent vasodilation by restoring nitric oxide activity in essential hypertension. Circulation 1998; 97: 2222-29.

20. Siani A, Pagano E, Iacone R et al. Blood pressure and metabolic changes during dietary L-arginine supplementation in humans. American Journal of Hypertension 2000; 13: 547-551.

21. Digiesi V et al. Mechanism of action of coenzyme Q10 in essential hypertension. Curr Ther Res 1992; 51: 668-72.

22. Langsjoen P et al. Treatment of essential hypertension with coenzyme Q10. Mol Aspects Med 1994; 15(supp): 265S-72S.

23. Singh RB. Effects of hydrosoluble coenzyme Q10 on blood pressures and insulin resistance in hypertensive patients with coronary artery disease. Jour Hum Hyperten 1999; 13: 203-208.

24. Digiesi V, Cantini F, Brodbeck B. Effect of coenzyme Q10 on essential arterial hypertension. Curr Ther Res 1990; 47; 841-45.

25. Burke BE et al. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of coenzyme Q10 in isolated systolic hypertension. Southern Med Jour 2001; 94(11): 1112-1117.

26. Silagy, CA, Neil HAW. Garlic as a lipid-lowering agent-a meta-analysis ofo randomized controlled trials. J R Coll Physicians London 1994; 28: 39-45.

27. Silagy CA, Neil HAW. A meta-analysis of the effect of garlic on blood pressure. Jour Hyperten 1994; 12: 463-68.

28. Toft, I et al. Effects of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on glucose homeostasis and blood pressure in essential hypertension. Ann Intern Med 1995; 123: 911-18.

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