High Blood Pressure and how to deal with it
Zulaika and Sue: Radio Interview 6th September 2018
Q: Do we need medications to control blood pressure?
A: Not the average person
Magnesium is a muscle relaxant and helps to keep blood pressure normal. Insulin resistance is also linked to a magnesium deficiency
Insulin resistance makes one retain sodium which inhibits the uptake of magnesium, the mineral that keeps blood vessels relaxed and flexible. As a result, magnesium is excreted by the kidneys. Then levels of insulin as well as fat begin to increase. If the intake of fructose is too high, more uric acid is formed. Uric acid blocks the relaxing effect that nitric acid has on blood vessels.
Vitamin B 3 is required to activate nitric acid, but high blood sugar levels block the action of all our B vitamins which protect our blood vessels. These include vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid and are needed to control homocysteine (inflammation)
Q: What Causes Magnesium Depletion?
A: The main culprits are prescription medications such as diuretics, antibiotics, painkillers and cortisone, which can deplete magnesium levels in the body by impairing absorption or by increasing excretion by the kidneys.
Caffeine also causes the kidneys to release extra magnesium. Caffeine is present in tea, coffee, some medications, tonics and caffeinated beverages.
Vitamin B6 is the most important heart protector. Long term studies of Vitamin B6 over the last 40years show that a deficiency of this vitamin is the leading cause of heart disease.
a) As an antioxidant it protects against heart disease as does Vitamin C and E.
b) It provides an anti-clotting function, even in the presence of smoking, alcohol and caffeine. (However, these substances deplete levels of B6 – so do birth control pills, HRT and sugar.)
c) Vitamin B6 is a natural diuretic. It prevents water retention and oedema and lowers blood pressure.
d) It relieves high levels of prolactin, the hormone responsible for PMT, moodiness and a dopamine impairment (Parkinson’s disease).
e) Kidney stones are due to a lack of Vitamin B6 and magnesium.
Q: How much Vitamin B6 should we be taking and is there enough in a healthy diet?
The RDA is 2 mg – but to be effective, take a vitamin B complex supplement or multivitamin and top up with 25mg vitamin B6 tablets. Can we rely on the diet to provide enough Vitamin B6 for optimal heart health? Well: you would need: 196 bananas or 120 cups of brown rice or 9kg of raw calf’s liver! Nevertheless, cut out refined starches and sugar that depletes your Vitamin B6.
Q: What about olive leaves – how can they help control blood pressure?
A : In my book a HEALTHY HAPPY HEART there is a special page (72) about olive leaf remedies for the heart. They improve insulin sensitivity, to retain magnesium. They act as calcium channel blockers – just like the medications, but without side effects. Olive leaves provide antioxidants and augment the effect of nitric oxide, helping to relax the blood vessels. They kill microbes in the blood that may cause it to thicken and clot.
Sue’s Book: A Healthy Happy Heart provides a lot of information about high blood pressure and natural ways to control it. You can order your copy from her website: www.naturefresh.co.za