For some time now the role of nonpharmacologic management, alone or in combination with drug treatment, has been controversial. However, since the 1990s many medical conferences have been held (all over the world) and research has been done by experts from many disciplines within the health sciences resulting in a new respect and appreciation of these combined therapies. About 1 in 3 U.S. adults have high blood pressure and only about half of these people have their pressure under control. Treatment of high blood pressure is an area in which provocative and beneficial research with nutraceuticals and healthy lifestyle approaches reveal a lot of success.
In a lecture given by Mark Houston, MD, February 2016, from the Cardiovascular Summit in Miami, FL and recorded in the Audio-Digest® lecture series, success with various non-pharmaceutical options for controlling hypertension were discussed. While these may not be enough in themselves, they may help to lessen dependence on anti-hypertensive pharmaceutical agents which have undesirable side effects. Here’s the list of considerations:
- Lifestyle is number one and very important! Increase exercise, decrease consumption of starchy foods and sugary snacks/treats. Work to achieve your optimal weight.
- Consume more protein (any type of protein is shown to reduce risk): Hydrolyzed whey protein; vegetable protein, fish – bonito protein (bonito fish is from the mackerel family) is considered optimal
- Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA:EPA 3:2), 3-4 g daily
- Virgin olive oil; olive leaf extract 500 mg, twice daily for 8 weeks
- Aged garlic, 600 mg twice daily (YES, this can cause garlic breath)
- Wakame (dried seaweed), 3.3 g
- Vitamin C, 600 mg/day
- Vitamin D: 2000 IU per day, with a goal of bringing your level to at least 50-60 ng/mL
- Dark chocolate in small amounts
- Co-Q10: 60 mg twice daily, measure level
- Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA): acetyl-L-carnitine (500 mg) or ALA (200 mg)
- Carnitine, 2 g/day
- Taurine, 6 g/day
- Pycnogenol, 200 mg/day
- Grape seed extract, 150-300 mg daily
- Pomegranate: 0.5-1 cup ground pomegranate seeds
- Melatonin, 3 mg/night
- Sesame, 60 mg/day
- Beet root extract
AS ALWAYS, consult your physician before taking on any supplements and DO NOT stop your present anti-hypertensive medications without your physician recommendation and agreement. There may be contraindications with certain supplements, depending upon your biology and/or other supplements and medications you are taking. It’s always important to have your doctor check. If you want to try a non-pharmaceutical approach and your doctor isn’t familiar with those options, find a doctor who is or who will educate her or himself to support you in improving your healthcare status.
©November2016 – Genevie Kocourek, M.D. is Board Certified in Family Medicine and practices at The Ommani Center for Integrative Medicine in Pewaukee, WI. She is the founder of Trinity Integrative Family Medicine and focuses her practice on integrative care and prevention of disease for the entire family. Schedule an appointment by calling 262.695.5311