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Life Extension Magazine

LE Magazine August 2003


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

By Dr. Edward R. Rosick


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. 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 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


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.


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