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Lowering blood pressure

By Staff | Jan 30, 2009

High blood pressure is a killer. My grandfather, a man I most dearly loved, died suddenly of a stroke so I am well aware of the dangers of the killer that lurks silently in our arteries.

Because controlling blood pressure is so important, your doctor may advise you to start taking HBP medications, and that may be an important piece of your medical puzzle. However, diet and lifestyle changes can also have a significant impact on keeping blood pressure within normal bounds. Doctors agree. According to a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, the National High Blood Pressure Education Program (NHBPEP) Coordinating Committee recommends using lifestyle interventions first, before starting drug therapy.

They call it the TLC program (therapeutic lifestyle changes). I call it FirstLine Therapy (FLT), a lifestyle/dietary program designed to lower risk factors for metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease, including lowering blood pressure. Studies show that just 12 weeks of incorporating the principles of FLT into your life, several risk factors begin to resolve, including chronic inflammation, altered blood fats, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure. Excessive weight begins to fall off. I have found this to be true with my FLT clients, as well. In fact, doctors can often reduce or eliminate several medications as a result of following the program.

An extract from the bonita fish also supports health blood pressure levels. The bonito peptides help reduce the formation of angiotensin II, a potent vasoconstrictor, through their interaction with angiotensin covering enzyme, without side effects. I have seen this effect in individuals who were diagnosed with HBP, started taking the bonita fish products, and within 3 months, found that their blood pressure had dropped to normal levels.

Magnesium is also important because this essential mineral helps relax the tiny muscles that line the blood vessels. Together, magnesium, potassium, sodium and calcium help regulate the electrical system that drives the regulation of blood pressure.

So a good dietary program to reduce high blood pressure involves lifestyle and dietary changes (not as difficult as it seems), peptides from the bonita fish, and a well-balanced combination of key electrolyte minerals. Oh, and fish oil too.

Carol is a certified lifestyle educator at the offices of Dr. Alan Gruning in Fort Myers. She owns the Island Nutrition Center on Sanibel. She can be reached at 239-472-4499.