Why All the Hype About Hypertension?

via Bryce Wylde

Biohacks, Remedies

Blood Pressure

Nearly one in three North Americans are diagnosed with high blood pressure, or hypertension. An estimated 20 million Americans don’t even know they have hypertension and it has developed a reputation as a “the silent killer”.
Hypertension forces the heart and blood vessels to work harder than normal, making them highly susceptible to injury by increasing blood flow that exerts undue pressure and stress against the walls of the blood vessels. Uncontrolled hypertension can lead to an increased risk of serious health conditions, including congestive heart failure, heart attack, stroke, atherosclerosis, brain damage, vision loss, and kidney failure among other things.
In 2010, high blood pressure cost the United States $76.6 billion in health care services, medications, and missed days of work. It costs the Canadian system $20.9 billion every year in physician services, hospital costs, lost wages and decreased productivity. More than the economic detriment, having high blood pressure is a serious personal health condition that surprisingly anyone, including children, can develop. It greatly increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, the first and third leading causes of death in North America and as the most common primary diagnosis. Hypertension accounts for more than 35 million physician office visits per year in this part of the world.
When aiming to achieve an optimal blood pressure reading, it is important to understand what a normal blood pressure is. When blood pressure is measured using a ‘bp-cuff’ (sphygmomanometer) and stethoscope there are two numbers to consider, systolic (the top number) and diastolic (the bottom number). Ideally, your systolic reading should be equal to or less than 120 mmHg and your diastolic should be equal to or less than 80mmHg. Anything more than that could be considered high blood pressure and is stressful to the heart, cardiovascular system, kidneys, and virtually the entire body.
Blood pressure levels higher than 120/80 mmHg are not always considered dangerous. Depending on the circumstances and what level of activity you may be engaged in, blood pressure rises and falls accordingly. At rest under normal circumstances, pressure readings between 120-139/80-89 is considered PRE-hypertension and is worthy of attention even though your doctor wouldn’t necessarily be concerned and likely wouldn’t be prepared to prescribe medication as a first step. Between 140- 159/90-99 is considered Stage 1 hypertension and it is here that your doctor becomes concerned and likely prescribe prescription medication hopefully along with lifestyle modifications including weight loss when applicable. A reading greater than 160/100 – referred to as Stage 2 – means you have serious and immediate risks including heart attack, stroke, and death.
With a blood pressure cuff in every pharmacy these days and all of the available information on how to achieve and maintain ideal body weight and composition through diet, lifestyle, and exercise, we need to start taking the responsibility upon ourselves to keep and maintain optimal blood pressure. You don’t want to resort to prescription medication when recent research shows that only 34 percent of individuals with hypertension respond favorably to drug treatment.
When prescription medications are required, the way some of them work is to inhibit the activity of an enzyme called angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) and they have been shown to lower blood pressure effectively and be relatively safe. They can be accompanied by numerous side effects, including dry cough, dizziness light-headedness, headaches, and impotence. As a result, individuals with high blood pressure have turned to natural alternatives known to lower blood pressure, such as increasing exercise, decreasing stress, implementing favourable dietary modifications, and integrating dietary supplements into their daily regimen.
An effective natural supplement to consider is the extract of the Bonito fish. Bonito (Sarda orientalis) is a fish belonging to the tuna and mackerel family that is traditionally consumed in Japan. Japanese researchers have identified a patented process to isolate specific, active bonito peptides (separated proteins) with demonstrated blood pressure lowering effects in animals and humans. These peptides – not to be confused with fish oils – work similarly to ACE inhibitor drugs but without the side effects.
Bonito peptides provide safe, effective, and natural blood pressure support for individuals with pre-hypertension (systolic blood pressure: 120-139 mmHg; diastolic blood pressure: 80-89 mmHg) or Stage 1 hypertension (systolic blood pressure: 140-159 mmHg; diastolic blood pressure: 90-99 mmHg).
In fact, there are already three human clinical trials that have been successfully conducted using bonito peptides in subjects with borderline or mild hypertension. Data has revealed significant decreases in blood pressure, with an average decrease of 10 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure and 7 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure after several weeks of use. In a recent study, researchers used an optimized bonito peptide mixture of 1.5 grams daily.
Clinical trial research suggests that bonito peptides are approximately 64 percent effective in reducing blood pressure in borderline and mildly hypertensive subjects. In these short-term clinical trials, no adverse side effects were reported, suggesting that bonito peptides have an excellent safety profile.
As far as Bonito Peptides go, I personally like the professional brand Metagenics that manufactures a product called Vasotensin. If you are experiencing mild to moderate high blood pressure, talk to your family doctor about bonito peptides along with lifestyle modification to see if this type of natural approach may be right for you.

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