Monthly Archives: July 2016

Information About Natural Treatments for High Blood Pressure

Learn the three ways you can lower blood pressure without medication

If you’ve been diagnosed with hypertension, I recommend trying natural treatments to lower your blood pressure before using any type of costly (and potentially dangerous) prescription medication.

There are three general ways to lower blood pressure naturally:

Diet—Foods that Lower Blood Pressure
Lifestyle Habits that Lower Blood Pressure Naturally
Vitamins and minerals that complement blood pressure–lowering programs
While you may be able to lower your blood pressure by following the recommendations in just one category, you will get the best results if you combine strategies from all three approaches.

Finally, as you implement these natural treatments for lowering blood pressure, monitor your pressure closely and work with your doctor. If you’re already taking a prescription blood pressure medication, you may need to adjust (or even eliminate) your dosage as the natural treatment takes hold.

How To Living After a Heart Attack

If you experience and live through a heart attack, limiting further damage to your heart and recovery are your primary concerns. Thankfully, there are several substances you can add to your supplement regimen to help.

L-Carnitine

Adding L-carnitine supplements to your diet may very well be one of the best things you can do. It can improve the quality of your life and increase your life span as well.

In one study conducted at the Santa Chiara Hospital in Pisa, Italy, 160 heart attack patients, aged 39 to 86, were divided into two groups. Eighty-one received the standard treatment consisting of various pharmacological agents and 4 grams of L-carnitine daily. The others received the standard treatment and a placebo. The health of the patients was followed for 12 months.

Those taking L-carnitine showed very significant improvement in several areas including: improved heart rate; lower blood pressures, both systolic and diastolic; a decreased number of angina attacks; fewer rhythm disorders; improved blood fat levels; and better overall heart strength and pumping ability. After 12 months the mortality rate of those taking L-carnitine was only 1.2 percent compared to 12.5 percent of the patients on standard treatment and the placebo.

If you’ve already had a heart attack, I recommend you take between 2–4 grams of L-carnitine daily.

Magnesium

Besides L-carnitine, magnesium can increase the survival rates of heart attack patients. Magnesium calms the heart, reduces arrhythmia and spasm of blood vessels, and lowers blood pressure. Research links higher magnesium intake with increased protection against coronary artery disease.

Take 400 mg a day in addition to your normal multivitamin regimen.

Plenty of studies have examined the relationship between magnesium intake and atherosclerosis. I found the results of one large, long-term study that explored the relationship between dietary magnesium intake measures and future risk of coronary events particularly intriguing. The researchers found there was modest protection associated with magnesium intake, and that protection was proportional to the amount of dietary magnesium ingested.

Between 1965 and 1968, investigators in the famous Honolulu Heart Program enrolled over 8,000 men of Japanese ancestry who were living in Hawaii. At the time of the study entry, the participants, who ranged in age from 45 to 68, underwent complete physical exams and completed detailed questionnaires. The 2003 study findings are based on the dietary intakes of magnesium for the 7,172 men who completed this study.

In the 30 years of follow-up, there were 1,431 cases of fatal and non-fatal coronary events. In a complex statistical analysis, the lowest quartile—or 25 percent of subjects—were compared to the highest quartile in terms of magnesium intake. Investigators compared those with lowest magnesium intakes (50.3 to 186 mg/day) to those with the highest consumption (340 to 1,183 mg/day). The results showed that within 15 years of dietary assessment the age-adjusted incidence of acute coronary events decreased significantly from 7.3 per thousand person years to 4.0 per thousand person years.

In other words, when adjustments were made to control for age and other risk factors, those who consumed the least magnesium were almost twice as likely to develop heart disease when compared to those who consumed the most. The researchers concluded that increased intake of dietary magnesium is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease.

A long-term study like this, that encompasses a large number of people and controls for multiple variables according to complex health assessment questionnaires, is strong evidence for the heart benefits of magnesium. The investigators also cited other studies that had reported a protective effect for dietary magnesium in terms of developing heart disease.

Coenzyme Q10

I’ve written a little in the past about coenzyme Q10, but I doubt most people realize just how an important tool it can be for helping heart conditions improve.

Coenzyme Q10 has been shown to be most effective in cases of:

– high blood pressure
– myocardial ischemic disorder or decreased blood flow to the heart muscle itself, i.e. ,from heart attack damage or atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries feeding the heart muscle)
– angina pectoris (i.e. , referred pain from the heart to the chest wall and arm)
– congestive heart failure where the output of the heart is diminished and a congestion of blood occurs in the lungs or other organs or limbs

Coenzyme Q10 acts as a catalyst. It provides one of the vital links in the process of energy production that takes place in the mitochondria of each cell. It is essential for energy production in the body and without it, energy cannot be created. It should come as no surprise that your heart, which needs a never-ending supply of energy, contains higher concentrations of coenzyme Q10 than any other organ in the body.

Numerous studies involving hundreds of patients have been conducted in Japan and the U.S. In general it appears that roughly 75 percent of the patients suffering from the above conditions have lower than optimal levels of tissue coenzyme Q10. And about 75 percent of these exhibit a very significant, favorable response when given the supplement orally.

Studies have shown it helps normalize high blood pressure when given alone or in combination with conventional medications. It improves cardiac output, stops angina symptoms, and strengthens the heart. If you have any of these conditions, coenzyme Q10 can be a lifesaver as well as a life-extender.

Coenzyme Q10 is offered by numerous vitamin companies and can be found in most health food stores. The daily dosages given in most studies generally range anywhere from between 30 and 100 mg daily. However, according to the most recent science, a higher dose of 300 mg is recommended if you’re recovering from a heart attack or currently on cholesterol-lowering medication (statins such as Lipitor).

If you’ve suffered a heart attack, or know someone who has, I strongly recommend adding these supplements to an existing multivitamin regimen for extra heart support. These health-promoting nutrients could make the difference in heading off future trouble.

More Information About Iron Deficiency and Natural Treatments for Anemia

Each month, I receive all types of health questions. Sometimes I can answer a lot of questions at one time by covering a particular topic in detail. Hundreds of questions can be answered and just as many health solutions can be found in a discussion about iron deficiency.

If you notice that you are losing more hair as you get older, have heart problems, less energy, extreme fatigue—or one of the many symptoms I’ll mention later—you may have a problem with iron deficiency. But to call it “iron poor blood” would be an oversimplification, to say the least. Your intake and utilization of iron involves many areas, and you need to have a full understanding of it if you expect to be as healthy as possible.

How the Body Uses Iron

Iron has been called the second most important mineral in your body (calcium being number one). Your body contains only 3–5 grams of iron (there are 28.35 grams in 1 ounce)! Even though you need very little iron, it is absolutely essential for life, and your body works hard to recycle and reuse the iron it has. In fact, you normally don’t lose more than 2 mg a day.

It would seem that because you need such a small amount, it would be easy for everyone to get enough iron from their regular diet. This is not always the case. While your efficiency at using iron is fantastic, your ability to digest iron is sometimes lacking, especially as you get older.

If you remember, iron is one of the three substances that requires lots of hydrochloric acid from the stomach to be digested properly. Calcium and protein are the other two. Even when your stomach produces 100 percent of the acid it should be, you still digest and assimilate only about 10 percent of the iron you eat. If you’re over 50 years of age and your stomach is producing only 15 percent of the hydrochloric acid it produced at age 25, then your chances of getting enough iron are pretty slim. (It’s even worse if you are over 65 years of age.) If you have digestive problems like gas, bloating, and indigestion—problems also associated with healthy digestive function—then it’s likely you also have an iron problem.

What Are the Risks of Iron Deficiency and Anemia?

Anemia is misunderstood by doctors and laypeople alike. Most of the problems caused by anemia are caused before it shows up in laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures. In fact, it’s likely that hundreds of thousands of people trudge through life as anemics or borderline anemics.

A medical dictionary would say that anemia is either a reduction in the number of red blood cells (RBCs) or a reduction of the amount of iron carried by RBCs. Since the iron in your RBCs carry oxygen to every living cell of your body, another definition would be that anemia is a lack of oxygen to the cells. Being anemic is like not getting enough air to breathe. Like all things, you can have varying degrees of anemia. Anemia can be a complicated subject; however, I won’t have to go into too much detail for you to understand the problem and more importantly, the solutions. As I’ve mentioned, anemia can be either (1) a reduction in the number of RBCs, or (2) a reduction in the amount of iron carried by the RBCs.

The first type of anemia can be caused by excess bleeding or the body’s inability to produce RBCs. This is easily detected in a normal blood test.

The type of anemia comes into play when you have difficulty absorbing or assimilating enough iron from your diet. In this case, the laboratory tests may show that you have the normal amount of RBCs but that they may be iron deficient. Iron gives the red color to blood, and an anemia of this type is called “hypochromic” anemia (hypo = low, chromic = color).

Symptoms and Effects of Anemia

Enough of the technical stuff for a minute. Let me show you how dangerous a “simple” iron deficiency can be. It’s not so hard to see how an iron deficiency can cause you to be tired all the time, when the cells throughout your body can never get enough oxygen due to the deficiency. But did you also know that your heart would have to compensate for this by pumping the blood faster? If your heart feels like it’s going to jump out of your chest when you first stand or sit up, you may be low on iron. The extra oxygen needed for you to do any activity can cause the heart to momentarily race (palpitations). There are people all over the country taking medication to slow their heart down, who may have nothing more than an iron deficiency. Is it any wonder why the medication makes them even more fatigued?

Before I go into more unusual problems caused by low iron, let me give you a few of the telltale signs of an iron deficiency. The first place you might start looking for signs of an iron deficiency is your fingernails. If your nails have longitudinal striations (ridges that run from the base to the tip of the nail) the Oriental and Eastern practitioners would see this as a sign of an absorption problem (i.e., iron deficiency).

Dark circles under the eyes can either be from a build-up of toxins in the body or from poor oxygenation to the cells as in anemia.

Practically any symptom that can be caused by poor circulation can indicate a possible iron deficiency. Depression, fatigue, inability to concentrate, learning difficulties in adults and children, and memory problems are all associated with low iron. All growth and repair processes in the body depend on adequate oxygen supplies.

When you fully consider this, it’s no accident that most of the exclusive health and rejuvenation spas are located high in the mountain areas of the world. At first, this would seem inconsistent with what I just said about the importance of getting enough oxygen to each cell, but if you follow the thinking all the way through, it makes complete sense. Although the oxygen content of the air is the same (approximately 20 percent) at high altitude, the atmospheric pressure is much lower—making it harder to breathe. There’s less pressure to help push the air into your lungs. Quickly going to a higher altitude can cause breathlessness, heart palpitations, headaches, nausea, fatigue, and mental impairment (sounds like anemia, doesn’t it?). But the change also shocks your body’s protective mechanism, and it begins to both produce more RBCs and pull from its iron reserves in the liver, spleen, and bone marrow cells to meet the oxygen demand. After an “acclimatization period” of a few days, you begin to feel refreshed and alive with energy. This new ability to get enough oxygen to your cells can change your whole personality and vitality.

Other symptoms that go hand-in-hand with an iron deficiency are practically identical to the ones associated with aging. Among them are weak rectal muscles, partial deafness, tired in the morning—feeling better at night, brittle nails, night sweating, pale skin, stinging headaches, burning in the soles of the feet, eye soreness, not getting enough air, asthma, heart palpitations, sore joints, ankle swelling, loss of bladder control (bed wetting), difficulty in remembering and lack of concentration. Hair loss, especially in women, may be due to lower iron levels in the blood.

How to Treat Anemia and Iron Deficiency Naturally

As nice as it might sound, the answer to low iron problems is not to move to the mountains. Your body would gradually become acclimated to the higher altitude and the symptoms of anemia would gradually return. There is an easy solution, though, as you’ll see.

– Adjust your diet. For borderline problems you can start by increasing the green leafy vegetables in your diet, also red cabbage, parsley (yes, it’s edible), beets, alfalfa, watercress, wheat grass, spinach, vegetable tops, cucumbers, tomato juice, fish, coconuts, eggs, black strap molasses, black cherry and blackberry juice are all high in iron.
– Consider supplementation. If your level of iron is known to be low, most likely you’ll need an iron supplement. Iron in the form of ferrous fumarate seems to work best. Make sure your iron supplement contains folic acid (folate). A deficiency in folic acid presents the same symptom picture as anemia. High quality supplements will also contain B12. Check the label for the amount of “elemental” iron, not the total iron content. Elemental (iron in the salt form) is the only type we can absorb. One bottle that advertises 200 mg of iron may, by closer observation, have only 10 mg of elemental iron. If the label doesn’t list the elemental iron, you can always check to see what percent of the RDA it furnishes. The RDA is 8 mg per day for all men and for women over the age of 51, and 18 mg per day for women under the age of 51 (or who have yet to go through menopause).
– Take digestive enzymes. To maximize the benefit of an iron supplement, you may need a digestive enzyme. You can almost bet on needing one if you have problems with calcium or protein digestion.
– Avoid contraindications with foods. Don’t take iron at the same time you take vitamin E or with eggs—both will reduce your absorption capabilities. Coffee and tea also interfere with iron assimilation. On the other side of the coin, citrus juice and vitamin C can increase absorption rates tremendously.

Finally, know that iron can be constipating to some people. If you’re bothered with this, a good stool softener (not laxative) will help. Some iron supplements now contain softeners.