hypertension

12 simple steps to lower your blood pressure safely

Have you been seeking alternatives to medicines to lower your blood pressure?

Hypertension is a very common medical problem, and there are very effective medications available to treat elevated blood pressure, but most people would prefer to avoid taking prescription drugs whenever possible.

A recent Journal of the American College of Cardiology study discovered an excellent reason for patients to seek out other options, based on an extensive review of some 400,000 patient records at Kaiser Permanente Southern California who were taking medications for hypertension.

Being over-treated or under-treated with medications above or below a “normal” range of 130-139 systolic pressure and 60-69 diastolic blood pressure increased a patient’s chances of death or the development of kidney failure.

Too Much or Too Little

“Physicians have often emphasized the need to bring a patient’s blood pressure down as low as possible for the best outcomes,” said lead study author Dr. John Sim. “However, the findings of our study suggest that treating patients with high blood pressure too aggressively may potentially lead to poor health outcomes.

“Through personalized treatment plans, we can minimize the lifestyle burden on patients and improve the safety of their treatment regimens, while reducing the cost to both patients and the health care system as a whole.”

A third of all Americans suffers from high blood pressure, according to the National Institutes of Health, amounting to nearly $100 billion spent on medications, services and missed workdays.

However, there are alternatives that can lessen your dependence on so many medications while being just as effective. Try these 12 simple steps to lower your blood pressure safely. (Any lifestyle alterations you make should always be discussed beforehand with and monitored by your doctor.)

The Top 12

1. Get moving with an exercise plan. Starting slowly by investing two days a week on activity is a good place to start, according to Men’s Fitness.

2. Find ways to better handle the stressors in your life, such as learning meditation or taking a yoga class.

3. Cut down on your body’s intake of salt by skipping extra condiments and limiting your intake of processed and fast foods to a minimum.

4. The best pathway to better health is exercising along with eating a better diet, rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and potassium that can reduce the damaging effects of sodium on your blood pressure.

5. Exposure to secondhand smoke along with smoking increases your risk of atherosclerosis, building up the fatty substances in your arteries that elevate your risk of death, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). This is one case in which you win by quitting something.

6. Because excess belly fat is a major contributor to hypertension, maintaining a body weight closer to your body mass index (BMI) is very important.

Too Much Everything!

7. Check with your doctor about all the medicines you’re taking that can elevate your blood pressure or create other health problems. Over-the-counter meds containing licorice root, ginseng and ephedra can cause problems, too.

8. Are you drinking a lot of caffeinated coffee, tea and soft drinks? Limit your intake of caffeine, considered by many to be the most popular drug in the world.

9. Limit your consumption of alcohol to a moderate, daily amount based on your gender (one drink for women and two for men).

10. Did you know the stress associated with visiting your doctor may be enough to elevate your blood pressure to hypertensive levels? Wirecutter offers great guidance on how to choose a home blood pressure monitor that will help you track your numbers more accurately every day.

11. Eating a small amount of minimally processed, flavanol-rich dark chocolate every day not only helps to lower your blood pressure, but the yummy brown stuff also interacts with the good bacteria in your gut to produce anti-inflammatory compounds.

The Probiotic Treatment

12. Taking a daily probiotic may lower your blood pressure, according to a recent study in the AHA journal, Hypertension.

Based on an analysis of nine studies examining the effect of probiotics on 543 patients with elevated or normal blood pressure readings, taking a probiotic decreased the systolic (top) number by some 3.5 milliliters and diastolic (bottom) blood pressure by 2.38 milliliters.

Patients who benefited the most took a multi-species probiotic like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic for at least two months.

Each timed-release capsule of EndoMune Advanced Probiotic contains 20 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) and 10 strains of bacteria that benefit your health in a growing number of ways.

 

Probiotics can improve hypertension

Study after study shows that probiotics help treat gastrointestinal issues including IBS, diarrhea, gas and constipation. However, the benefits aren’t confined to digestive health.

Recent studies are also proving that probiotics can improve hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure. Primarily caused by environmental factors such as salt intake, minimal exercise, weight gain and high cholesterol due to bad diet, high blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke, heart attacks and heart failure.

The International Journal of Molecular Science published a review on various studies conducted on how probiotics improved hypertension, particularly the effects on cholesterol and diabetes. Among their conclusions, researchers proved that probiotics could reduce the amount of cholesterol, thus decreasing the chance of high blood pressure. Additionally, probiotics provide a safe alternative treatment to drugs or hormone therapy, with milder or no known side effects.

Probiotics not only treat digestion problems, but they also help lower your risk for hypertension. Add a daily probiotic like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic to your diet to improve your chances for a healthier life.

More And More Research Affirms The Benefits Of Healthy Gut Bacteria

Dear EndoMune subscribers,

This month’s newsletter looks at some of the recent research on the positive effects healthy bacteria can have on the digestive system.

When I went into medicine, we spent a long time studying how bacteria caused serious infectious diseases. We learned about the importance of antibiotics and when to use them.

We never had a lecture on how certain bacteria (microflora) have co-evolved with us and how they help maintain our health.

No one really knew much about these healthy bacteria. But it turns out that they are essential for human life. We need them in our gut to digest food, synthesize certain vitamins and form a barricade against disease-causing bacteria.

But what do they look like in healthy people, and how much do they vary from person to person?

“Studies have found that the healthy bacteria can inhibit intestinal immune system from producing immune reactions against food protein lessening the risk of asthma, eczema and other allergies.”

Human Microbiome Project

The National Institute of Medicine launched the Human Microbiome Project1 (HMP) in 2008. It’s a five-year program to better understand how the bacterial communities (microbiome) that live on and in the human body protect our health.

The HMP involves 200 scientists at 80 institutions. Using the latest genetic techniques, they collect samples of bacterial genetic material from 242 healthy people.

The samples have been collected from five areas of the body: the digestive tract, the mouth, the skin, the nose and the vagina.

The projects reveal some of the ways in which invisible or microscopic bacteria shape our lives from birth to death. The ultimate goal is to test whether changes in the human microbiome are associated with human health or disease.

Benefits of a Healthy Microbiome

For example, researchers2 at Baylor College of Medicine have found that the vaginal bacterial flora or microbiomes change during pregnancy. Particular species, like Lactobacillus johnsonii, become dominant. This bacteria is usually found in the human intestinal tract where it produces enzymes that promote digestion of milk and substances that destroy harmful bacteria.

These findings have implications for the newborn. Before birth, the infant is in a sterile environment. The initial exposure to the world of bacteria is during the passage through the birth canal. It has been speculated that the baby will ingest some of the Lactobacillus johnsonii which will aid in digesting breast milk.

Babies born by Caesarean section start out with different microbiomes, but it is not yet known whether their microbiomes remain different after they mature.

During infancy, the baby’s intestinal microbiome expands and is impacted by breastfeeding. A study of 16 lactating women3 found that human breast milk had up to 600 bacterial species and resistant starches. Breast milk helps to promote the healthy intestinal bacteria which aid in digestion, immune function and protection from harmful bacteria.

Studies have found that the healthy bacteria can inhibit intestinal immune systems from producing immune reactions against food protein lessening the risk of asthma, eczema and other allergies.

Future Research Projects

In addition to the above studies, the HMP is doing research on the how the skin microbiome may play a role in skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema.

Other research projects are evaluating the intestinal microbiome in obese versus normal weight individuals. Previous studies have found that there is a difference in the bacterial flora in obese and thin animals and humans. Hopefully, the flora can be manipulated to lessen obesity and the associated disorders of diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

The point of this newsletter is that the scientific community now recognizes the importance of maintaining a healthy microbiome. The concern is that antibiotics can upset the healthy microbiome and can contribute to chronic disorders like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and allergies.

Take Home Message

Consider taking a high quality probiotic like EndoMune to maintain a healthy microbiome balance.

Remember, EndoMune contains 10 strains of bacteria, and it is the only probiotic on the market developed by a board certified gastroenterologist.

Eat healthy, exercise and live well!!!
Best Wishes,
Dr. Hoberman

 

1) Structure, function and diversity of the healthy human microbiome. Human Microbiome Project Consortium.Nature. 2012 Jun 13;486(7402):207-14. doi: 10.1038/nature11234.

2) A metagenomic approach to characterization of the vaginal microbiome signature in pregnancy. Aagaard K, Riehle K, Ma J, Segata N, Mistretta TA, Coarfa C, Raza S, Rosenbaum S, Van den Veyver I, Milosavljevic A, Gevers D, Huttenhower C, Petrosino J, Versalovic J. PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e36466. Epub 2012 Jun 13.

3) Characterization of the diversity and temporal stability of bacterial communities in human milk.Hunt KM, Foster JA, Forney LJ, Schütte UM, Beck DL, Abdo Z, Fox LK, Williams JE, McGuire MK, McGuire MA.PLoS One. 2011;6(6):e21313. Epub 2011 Jun 17.

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