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Blood Pressure: How High is Too High?

A reader writes: I am on co approvel 300 ml and natrilix 1.5 ml . Why is my bp still not under control? I walk 45 min daily. Do meditation and breathing daily. I am tired of my bp readings. It is always fluctuating from high to normal.. i am on 15 ml of seroxet for anxiety and depression under control. Why is my bp not going down?

My response: There are a lot of varied opinions around the issue of blood pressure control. My opinion does not fit the conventional medicine model, but is based on good, defensible science. The risk of high blood pressure causing cardiac events (heart attack and stroke) does not increase until the blood pressure levels are considerably higher than 120 over 80. In my opinion many people are on blood pressure medication without the need for it at all. If blood pressures are elevated (in my opinion), there are safe and effective things that can be done:

1) Reduce inflammation in your body (stop eating bad food, drinking pop, ingesting toxins)

2) Drink plenty of water because thick blood requires a higher blood pressure to circulate around the body (both of your blood pressure medications are diuretics)

3) Try 3 supplements–Hawthorn berry is a vasodilator, Magnesium at moderately high doses acts as a calcium channel blocker (a category of blood pressure medication), CoQ10 to support the energy system of the body (and heart).

Only when the above items do not adequately reduce the blood pressure would I consider medications.

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Omega Q Plus

Omega Q Plus
I was wondering what you think of this product. I have tried the hawthorne berries to lower my blood pressure and it really works. Now someone else has told me about this product. Its by a Dr. Stephen Sinatra. Would you recommend this product?

Dr. Stephen Sinatra is a bright cardiologist, and I would trust his products.  This is his signature product for heart support.

It does not contain hawthorne berry, which is a vasodilator that is especially beneficial for high blood pressure.  In treating my patients, I also add CoQ10, which is in Omega Q Plus, and magnesium which is not in Omega Q Plus, for blood pressure control.

His product would be ideally suited for heart failure, cardiomyopathy, and probably as good as any for arrhythmias, although magnesium would be especially important for arrhythmias.

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Magnesium. What kind of magnesium-taurate,chloride,aspartate,citrate,glycinate,malate OR orotate?
It’s in regards to a heart related article I read on Dr.’s site. Thank you.

In order for magnesium to be better absorbed, it needs to be combined with another ‘chelate.’  You have listed quite a number of potential chelates.  Each of the chelates imparts an additional component of treatment, depending on what it is.

The orotate form probably has the best penetration into the cell of any other chelate, but it has only recently been available.

The malate chelate is involved the the Krebs or citric acid cycle in the making of energy, which makes it quite useful in people with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.

The chloride and citrate forms may not be absorbed as well as some of the other forms.

The form I use is a magnesium potassium aspartate because the potassium helps hearts and blood pressure (even though it is a small amount) and the aspartate is a form of aspartic acid, an amino acid that has to do with neurotransmitter support.

The major emphasis in the article on heart disease is to get 800 to 1,000 mg of magnesium into the body on a daily basis.  Magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions, more than any other vitamin or mineral the body needs.

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Constipation; Hemorrhoids

   I’m a woman, late 40s, had 6 births and for as long as I can remember, had large, hard stools and hence, hemorrhoids. Stool softeners do not help. I drink plenty of water and eat a good diet with lots of whole foods. I read a recommendation to try magnesium for my problem. I’ve been taking 800 mg of magnesium every night for about 2 weeks now, and my problem seems to be solved! Question: do I need to be worried about accumulating toxic levels of magnesium. I’m obviously deficient. I tried taking the magnesium one day and then skipping a day, but the problem comes right back. I would appreciate an answer. Thank you.

Magnesium is one of the most important minerals (if not the most important) in the body.  It is involved in more than 300 biochemical reactions, and is markedly undervalued in America.  All my heart patients are taking 800 to 1,000 mg of Magnesium daily for years, only to see continual improvement.

At high enough doses (usually closer to 2,000 mg per day) it will cause loosening of the hard stools and then diarrhea.  Hopefully after your bowels have properly adapted, they will no longer need the high doses, but you may still want to continue the magnesium.

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Blood Pressure Tips

After 11 years of natural self treatment and perfect tests including blood pressure of 120/80, chest pains panicked a doctor to give me a chemical stress test and then an Angiogram. Ever since then, blood pressure has been high. Could it be the unnatural chemical stress test? All other tests have still been perfect, and the heart specialist simply said go home, your heart is healthy.

They use different dyes and substances for the chemical stress test, but I am not aware that an increased blood pressure is a side effect of any of them.

I am always concerned with angiograms, because they put an instrument inside the blood vessel that has a thin and sensitive single layer endothelium.  When the endothelium gets damaged, the signalling molecules contained within this thin layer may not do their job.  One of them is nitric oxide, which is a vasodilator.  If it is not being released like it should, the blood vessels will not dilate and could cause an increased blood pressure.

The best natural options for high blood pressure include

  • magnesium, 800 to 1,000 mg per day,
  • CoQ10, 200 mg per day,
  • hawthorne berry 250 mg twice each day.
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Blood Pressure Meds

Dr. Gardner — Do you have to be weaned off diltiazem or can you just stop it and switch to herbal alternatives?

Diltiazem is a calcium channel blocker used to control blood pressure.

All blood pressure medications should be weaned off gradually, and never stopped at full dosage ‘cold turkey.’ It should  be done under the supervision of a physician.

Typically I start magnesium,CoQ10, and Hawthorne berry, then take 6 to 8 weeks weaning off any blood pressure medicine, and only one at a time.  Your physician can advise amounts and timing for this process.

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More on Bone Density

One more question for bone density. I am currently taking Evista. Any comments on that product?

Evista is a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM).  It is synthetically made, and is not identical to any hormone the body makes. The early studies showed an increase in ovarian cancer in 2 separate rat species when the safety studies were done, but that fact does not appear in any of the marketing material.

I am not in favor of Evista, and even more opposed to the bisphosphonates, Fosamax and Actonel.

Provide the minerals the body needs to make strong bone, and you will reduce your fracture risk. They will all be found in a potent multi-vitamin except strontium and silicon, which need to be supplemented separately.

Five hundred to 750 mg of calcium is all you need to take in a supplement, as the rest of the calcium need (1,000 mg per day) can come from the diet.  Magnesium should also be 500 to 750 mg per day.

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Weaning off Blood Pressure Meds

Weaning off blood pressure medication-topropol and ramipril. Why am I on both? Are they needed at all?

Without more information, no specific recommendations can be made. Toprol and Ramipril are blood pressure medications that are in two different categories.

The philosophy in conventional medicine is: 1. blood pressures above 120/80 cause an increase in cardiac events (heart attacks and strokes), so they want blood pressures in that range. 2. If one category of medication doesn’t work, then they try a medication in another category, and may very well add a third and fourth if you are still not responsive.

My approach is different:

1. As scientists outside the ‘box’ have looked at the data (from the Framingham study), there is no increase in cardiac events (strokes or heart attacks) until much higher levels are reached–160 to 180/ 95 to 100 and above. So those levels are the only ones that need to be treated, unless you are having specific symptoms as your blood pressure rises.

2. If there is a need for blood pressure support, try the following: 1. magnesium 800 to 1,000 mg per day 2. Hawthorne berry 1,000 mg per day 3. CoQ10 200 mg per day. I have had excellent response with that approach. Weaning off blood pressure medications needs to be done slowly, and should be done under the supervision of your physician.

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Muscle Cramping

Just yesterday, I got some sushi, sat in a park and enjoyed it before going home on the bus… This morning, I started the day with mineral water and Sicilian integral salt, because I had a foot cramp… Maybe the hot, humid weather depleted some salts…

Muscle cramps are usually related to a magnesium deficiency, so increase your magnesium intake to at least 500 mg, and perhaps 800 mg per day. If that does not do it, try calcium, potassium, more water, and, as a last resort, manganese.

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Stress and a Broken Heart

I am recovering from broken heart syndrome.  Do you have any thoughts on this?  I would be interested to know how to keep from having another one.  Stress is the biggest factor.

The emotional connections to health are too often ignored. In traditional societies, the heart is either associated with feelings (when the brain is associated with thoughts), or with thoughts, while the bowels are associated with feelings. Either way, feelings or thoughts will be manifest in a physical organ.

There are safe ways to help our organs, which I will share with you, but unless the basic issues at the stress level, especially dealing with the stress/abuse of a broken heart, are addressed, they are mere band-aids.

Find the joy you need and deserve; leave the past in the past; forgive, if possible; find a purpose bigger than the hurt.

For the heart itself, magnesium is probably the single biggest support for the heart-500 to 800 mg per day. If your broken heart is associated with fatigue, consider CoQ10, 200 mg per day, L-carnitine–1000 mg per day. If there are arrhythmias or high blood pressure, also add hawthorne berry.