The Natural Way

Thursday, December 9, 2004

I get "white coat" blood pressure every time I get it checked in a medical office. Maybe it's the smell of the room, anticipation of getting a shot or just that this measurement is "official" and will forever be in disagreement with what happens in the quiet privacy of my own space.

When I do my own measurement, blood pressure is always lower. Clearly, emotion and life events have an immediate impact on blood pressure. The rule of thumb is that the lower the blood pressure, the better the chances of a longer life. Of course, if it is too low that isn't good, either.

There are a number of natural products to help control high blood pressure, but I haven't found any of them to work with everyone. Usually, there is a trial and error period with adjustments of products and amount consumed. This is similar to choosing a prescribed drug as well. Some of the choices are l-arginine, enteric-coated garlic, magnesium, hawthorn and coleus forskohlii.

L-arginine is an amino acid. There are at least two dozen amino acids and each has its own function in the body. They interact and help each other maintain and repair the body but basically they all have their own individual qualities.

Amino acids compete with each other, therefore if you decide to take one or more for a specific purpose, they should be taken separately on an empty stomach about an hour before eating any form of protein. L-arginine taken in the amount of four to six grams a day has been used by many to improve blood pressure. A sustained release product may work best.

I like a combination of magnesium, coleus forskohlii and a calmative, like hops. This combo works on many levels for reducing high blood pressure. Magnesium relaxes the arteries making them open more, so blood pressure drops and the heart works less.

Coleus forskohlii does something similar but is also thought to improve the makeup of fat (lipids) as well as cause improved thyroid function. The calmative is pretty straightforward. What to do if your blood pressure is too low? Try watching TV news!

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