Archive for February, 2007

Milk Protein and Blood Pressure- Is there a connection?

Posted in Blood Pressure Reduction on February 22nd, 2007

Nitrates play an important role in the overall health of your immune system and body.  It has the potential to lower blood pressure, but isn’t the only alternative remedy being studied.  Dairy peptides are another non-medical hypertension treatment that may prove to be an effective remedy for lowering blood pressure.

Dairy what?  Dairy peptides are tiny peptides (molecule comprised of two or more amino acids), that are produced when milk protein known as casein is broken down into smaller portions.  Two particular peptides that can be manufactured through the use of a naturally attained enzyme preparation are IPP (isoleucine-proline-proline tripeptides) and VPP (valine-proline-proline tripeptides).

IPP and VPP can break milk protein down into hydrolysed casein powder.  Furthermore, instead of using an enzyme preparation to break down casein, it can also be produced through fermentation in which case lactic acid bacteria are used.

How does milk protein benefit hypertension?  It is believed by researchers that dairy peptides work by preventing the action of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE).  The prevention of ACE causes a reduction in angiotension II formation, and reduces the constriction of blood vessels, all of which results in lower blood pressure. 

Over the past decade, more than 20 human clinical trials have been conducted to discover the blood pressure-lowering effect of dairy peptides.  Dairy drinks that contained IPP and VPP were used in the trials.  Many of the studies found an average reduction of up to 7 mm Hg for systolic blood pressure and up to 4 mm Hg for diastolic blood pressure among participants treated with the dairy peptides.

The British Journal of Nutrition reported on one of the more recent studies that tested a dairy peptide’s (hydrolised casein) effectiveness of lowering blood pressure.  Hydrolised casein contains the two dairy peptides IPP and VPP.  This study was conducted on more than 130 participants who suffered from high-normal blood pressure or mild hypertension.  The duration of the study was six weeks.

The study consisted of participants taking a daily dose (two tablets) of IPP and VPP.  Some of the participants were provided with 1.8mg, some were provided with 2.5mg, and some were provided with 3.6mg.  The rest were given placebos.  It was discovered that those who were taking 1.8mg had a considerable reduction in systolic blood pressure, six weeks (5.8 mm Hg) into the study.  For those taking 2.5 mg or 3.6mg, a considerable reduction in systolic blood pressure was noted during the third week (2.5mg = 3.4 mm Hg and 3.6mg = 4.1 mm Hg) and sixth week (2.5mg = 6.2 mm Hg and 3.6mg = 9.3 mm Hg) of the study. 

In the end, it was found that participants who suffered from mild hypertension responded better to the dairy peptide treatment than those who had high-normal blood pressure.

Like most of the studies being conducted on alternative remedies for treating hypertension, dairy peptides need to be tested further before any real conclusions can be made.  However, if you find these studies interesting, you may want to bring them to your doctor’s attention to find out how you can get involved or try the treatment yourself.

Finally, keep in mind that if you have milk allergies, or are pregnant, you may not be a candidate for dairy peptides treatment. 

To discover what the options are regarding hypertension medication and the natural alternatives, please visit The Blood Pressure Reduction Guide where you can sign up for a free newsletter.

 

 

 

 

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Can Nitrates Help Control High Blood Pressure?

Posted in Blood Pressure Reduction on February 15th, 2007

Just as CoQ10 appears to be beneficial in reducing blood pressure levels, nitrates, another alternative natural remedy, also appear to have a positive affect on reducing hypertension.

What are nitrates? Nitrate is a salt of nitric acid, and is an essential plant nutrient found in soil that is taken in by plants and used as their primary nitrogen source.  Thus, nitrate is a natural part of all vegetables, fruits and cereals.   Nitrate should not be confused with nitrite – a chemical substance within the body created by the digestion of foods containing nitrite (fish, mean and poultry preservatives) or nitrate.

How can nitrates help with hypertension?  New studies have found that nitrates, nutrients found in leafy green vegetables such as lettuce and spinach, may actually help control blood pressure by maintaining the health of blood vessels.   This may not come as a surprise to some people, especially considering the fact that past studies have discovered that the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, a diet rich in vegetables and fruits, can lower blood pressure.

However, although the DASH diet has had a positive effect on those with hypertension, researchers are not sure what exact nutrients within vegetables and fruits are responsible for lowering blood pressure.  For this reason, new studies that focus on nitrate have been conducted to determine if nitrate is one of the main reasons for the drop in hypertension.

One short-term study involving 17, non-smoking and healthy young adults, observed the effects a nitrate supplement had on the participants.   Each person was given a daily dose of nitrate supplement that equalled the amount found in 150-250 grams of vegetables rich in nitrate (IE. lettuce, spinach, beetroot, etc.).  They were to take the supplement for three days, and then take a daily placebo during three different days. 

The results of the study concluded that although the nitrate supplement did not reduce systolic blood pressure (the higher number of a blood pressure reading), it lowered diastolic blood pressure by an average reduction of 3.7 mm Hg.  The researchers that conducted the study found that the benefits of the nitrate supplement were similar to those found in the DASH studies that were also tested on healthy individuals.

Nevertheless, despite the findings, it is clear that more research needs to be done in order to find out just how effective nitrate supplements are in lowering blood pressure.

That being said, you don’t need to wait for research to prove the affects nitrate has on lowering blood pressure, when it is common knowledge that fruits and vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet and are required to maintain a strong and healthy immune system.  Therefore, there is no harm in adding more nitrate-rich foods to your diet and cutting back on fatty fried foods. 

The following is a list of foods high in nitrates.  You may find that you’ve already made many of these foods an active part of your lifestyle:

• Lettuce
• Spinach
• Cabbage
• Beets
• Radishes
• Carrots

Nitrate can also be found in the air, water and is also a preservative found in foods including cheese, processed meats, and fish, as well as in spirits and liqueurs.

To discover natural anti hypertension methods please visit The Blood Pressure Reduction Guide where you can sign up for a free newsletter.

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Managing High Blood Pressure with Coenzyme Q10

Posted in Blood Pressure Reduction on February 8th, 2007

For some people, regulating their high blood pressure can be a real problem.  Unfortunately, this means, many people take long-term medications to help control it.  However, many studies are being conducted on different non-drug alternative remedies that may prove useful in reducing and controlling high blood pressure.  One such remedy being studied is coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).

What is CoQ10?  CoQ10 is a coenzyme, which means that it is an enzyme with two parts.  One part is a vitamin-like substance that is found in each cell in the body, and plays a vital role in the production of energy within every cell.  CoQ10 is needed in order to maintain the health of cells, tissues and organs. 

The second part is an enzyme, which means it is also required to facilitate numerous chemical reactions within the body and act as a catalyst to these reactions.  CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant and is effective at destroying free radicals in the body. 

CoQ10 is manufactured by the body.  It is believed that the vitamins including vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, niacin, and folate, help the body convert tyrosine (an amino acid) into coenzyme Q10.  Although it exists throughout the body, CoQ10 is stored in the heart, liver and kidneys, and the heart and liver contain the highest levels.

How does CoQ10 help lower blood pressure?  Many people who have hypertension are deficient in Coenzyme Q10.  Furthermore, they require increased tissues levels of CoQ10.  The reason is because CoQ10 helps to prevent fatty acids from accumulating within the heart muscle and coverts them and other compounds into energy.  Thus, it is believed that CoQ10 helps remaining muscle cells work more effectively.

A number of studies have discovered that when used as a supplement, CoQ10 has modest blood pressure lowering effects.

One 10 week study conducted on 10 participants with hypertension treated the participants with 100 mg of CoQ10 supplement once a day.  When the study was complete, there was an average 10% drop in systolic pressure (161 mm HG to 142 mm Hg) and in the diastolic blood pressure (98 mm HG to 83 mm Hg).  Improvement was even seen in the cholesterol levels of these same participants.

Another study examined the affect CoQ10 supplements would have on those who suffer from isolated systolic hypertension (ISH).  This form of high blood pressure is the most common in America and is predominant in people older than 65.  ISH is characterized by having a systolic blood pressure of more than 140 mm HG, and a normal diastolic blood pressure that is less than 90 mm Hg. 

The 12 week study involved just over 80 participants with ISH.  Half of the participants were given a placebo and the other half 60 mg of CoQ10 supplement to be taken twice a day.  Throughout the entire study, each participant had their blood pressure checked twice per week.  At the end of the study, it was found that on average those who took CoQ10 had an 18 mm Hg reduction (165 mm Hg to 147 mm Hg) in systolic pressure.

Most studies have found CoQ10 to be beneficial for some individuals with different forms of hypertension; however, although the findings are promising, CoQ10 usually doesn’t show much of an improvement until 4 – 12 weeks after treatment begins.  Furthermore, it has yet to prove that it offers a significant benefit to most who suffer from hypertension.  More studies still need to be conducted.

If you are interested in taking CoQ10 for lowering your blood pressure talk to your doctor.

To find out more information about how to lower blood pressure naturally or to get the lowdown on different natural high blood pressure cures please visit The Blood Pressure Reduction Guide where you can sign up for a free newsletter.
 

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