Hypertension and hypertensive vascular disease
Insulin may increase blood pressure by a number of possible mechanisms. Hyperinsulinemia produces sodium retention by the kidney and increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system. The mitogenic action of insulin produces vascular smooth muscle hypertrophy and enhances calcium ion transport into the vascular smooth muscle. All of these mechanisms promote increased vascular tone (hypertension) and are consistent with the hypothesis of a defective sodium transporter in vasculature smooth muscle, which may account for 35-50% of people with essential hypertension (Verges 1999; Williams 2001).
Hypertension can be controlled through use of natural supplements. Mainstream practitioners believe that only prescription medications are proven to reduce hypertension. Yet, supplements are scientifically proven to help normalize blood pressure (Espeland et al. 1999).
There are nutrients that may reduce or eliminate the need for antihypertensive medications. However, nutrients may not work immediately to lower blood pressure the way drugs do, so it is important to continue nutritional-based blood pressure-lowering therapy over a period of 4 to 12 weeks. Physician cooperation is always crucial if you are to reduce your intake of antihypertensive drugs safely.
Arginine is frequently used as a treatment for hypertension. A defect in nitric oxide production is a possible mechanism of hypertensive vascular disease (Campese et al. 1997). Some cardiologists recommend L-arginine over nitroglycerine, since the two substances appear to replicate a similar vascular function, that is, the ability to relax smooth muscles and dilate blood vessels.
Lifestyle modifications to diet, salt intake, weight loss, smoking, and exercise can reduce blood pressure in a significant number of people. Studies affirm the need for a population-wide effort for health promotion through lifestyle modification (Miura et al. 2001; Vasan, 2001; Vasan et al. 2001, 2002).