|Taking your Blood Pressure Herbs Diet Minerals|
Sodium - Hypertension
and High Blood Pressure
Potassium to Improve
Magnesium to Prevent
Calcium, to prevent,
high blood pressure
and heart disease
and Heart Attacks
Calcium, to Prevent, High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease
Calcium changes blood pH from acidic to alkaline. This one thing alone is remarkable, since heart disease, cancer, and other degenerative diseases are acidic in nature. A physiology that is alkaline in nature contains up to twenty times more oxygen than one that is acidic. Disease flourishes in an anaerobic or non-oxygenated environment caused by acidity. In 1932 it was proven that cancer is an anaerobic disease. Calcium creates an alkaline environment in the body, and that increases the oxygen in it up to twenty times. In addition to its anti-cancer effect, calcium is also needed for proper DNA replication. This has enormous health benefits.
Calcium is needed to stay young, healthy, and prevent disease. The New England Journal of Medicine, April 1997, summarizes research showing calcium can prevent breast cancer. A long-term study in England concluded that drinking two glasses of milk a day would reduce cardiovascular disease by 400% and four glasses of milk by 1000%. (Note: Vitamin D is also needed to help calcium work its wonders).
Calcium, the most abundant mineral in the body, is more than a bone builder; it is necessary for cardiovascular health. It is involved in every heartbeat, helping the heart to deliver two and a half watts of power, giving every cell in your body a negative charge to maintain an alkaline biochemistry. Calcium also makes sure that your heart doesn’t overwork. It accomplishes this remarkable feat by reducing cholesterol, the arterial plaque that can clog your arteries. The heart then has less resistance to overcome, because your vessels are clear. Calcium helps you lose weight and reduce body fat, both can aid in lowering high blood pressure and improving insulin sensitivity.
Research shows that calcium is very important in preventing high blood pressure, and in lowering high blood pressure once you have it. A study discussed in Understanding Vitamins and Minerals, by Rodale Press, describes the cholesterol lowering effect of calcium. Harold Yacowitz, Ph.D., at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey, has conducted research on calcium and cholesterol. He found that cholesterol was lowered by 48 points, and triglycerides by 115 points, in people who were consuming 1600 milligrams of total calcium daily. Marvin L. Bierenbaum, M.D., at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Montclair, New Jersey, gave 2,000 milligrams of dietary calcium a day to 10 people with high blood fats. This resulted in a cholesterol drop of 25 percent in one year.197 This reduction in cholesterol has a beneficial effect on lowering blood pressure.
Calcium prevents the absorption of bile acids by binding to them. Supplemental calcium performs this feat, not dairy products containing calcium. Vitamin D is not only essential for calcium absorption, it is needed for adequate blood levels of insulin.
Calcium is an essential nutrient whose ratio to magnesium must be maintained to prevent magnesium loss. There is a domino effect – when magnesium levels fall too low then potassium is also lost. We know that potassium and sodium have a constant tug of war. If sodium wins, excess fluid is held in the tissues and blood pressure increases; if potassium wins, then excess fluid is excreted and blood pressure is lowered. Did you know that calcium and sodium have a tug of war as well?
Melvyn R. Werbach, M.D., states that the metabolic indices of calcium may predict and even determine dietary sodium sensitivity in hypertensive patients. This is because calcium increases sodium excretion.198 Calcium encourages sodium excretion by the kidneys, and in concert with magnesium, helps to relax the smooth muscle lining of your arterioles, lowering diastolic pressure. If your intake of calcium is adequate, then your cellular calcium levels will be adequate. Dietary calcium actually acts as a calcium channel blocker, controlling its own influx across the cell membrane.199 Recent research at various universities in the United States have shown lowered blood pressure in human subjects using calcium supplementation.
The research of David McCaron, Oregon Health Sciences, points to the connection between calcium, potassium and sodium to regulate hypertension.200 According to his research, insufficient calcium intake may be a greater risk factor for high blood pressure than salt intake. Insufficient calcium causes your kidneys to release the hormone calcitriol, which acts on the smooth muscle walls of your arteries. This action constricts your arteries and elevates blood pressure.201 It is recommended to get between 1000 mg and 1500 mg of calcium per day. If you get sufficient calcium, then magnesium levels are maintained, and magnesium relaxes blood vessels to reduce blood pressure. Magnesium delivers this effect by increasing the production of prostacyclin, which is vasodilating; in other words it expands your blood vessels and thus reduces blood pressure.
There are natural alternatives to drugs available in any health food More credit should go to magnesium, because it has proven to be more effective than beta-blockers. The relaxing effect of magnesium on the coronary arteries (helping prevent spasms and angina attacks) makes it a very powerful tool to lower hypertension. Thus, magnesium’s effect can prevent a heart attack and save your life. A good therapeutic dose of magnesium is 1000 mg. We’ll look more thoroughly at the role of magnesium soon.
Keep calcium levels up to protect magnesium and potassium levels. Here we see that there is no magic bullet approach to curing your high blood pressure. Creating balance in the physiology through proper nutrition is a major factor in reducing high blood pressure. Masking the symptom of high blood pressure as drugs do does nothing to cure the condition. If you have severe hypertension, however, medication buys you time to balance your physiology.
There are natural alternatives to drugs available in any health food store. Find a holistic doctor or a clinical nutritionist who can make appropriate recommendations for your specific needs. One natural yet often overlooked potent diuretic is water. Drink up to four quarts a day if you can. This will give you an increase in kidney function the natural way. If you have congestive heart disease or kidney dysfunction, check with your physician.
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