Archive for the ‘Lower Blood Pressure’ Category.
On July 11, 2013 research results from Brasky et al. were published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The concluded that high blood concentrations of omega 3 fatty acids were linked to increase prostate cancer risk. Researchers state these results support their 2011 findings that omega 3 fatty acids play a role in prostate cancer.
In the few weeks since this study was published, many doctors and researchers have weighed in with their viewpoints on the study results. Let’s sift through all the information and focus on what you need to know so you can decide if you should continue supplementing omega 3 fatty acids or not.
This study, released by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, analyzed participant data from the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT). SELECT was a large randomized, placebo-controlled trial to test whether selenium and vitamin E reduced prostate cancer risk. SELECT was not a double-blind placebo controlled trial focused on omega 3’s and prostate cancer. Participants in SELECT had their omega 3 levels measured. It was the plasma phospholipid omega 3 levels of 834 men who developed prostate cancer and 1393 men who did not develop prostate cancer that was analyzed for this most recent research linking omega 3’s to prostate cancer.
Cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sinatra points out valid concerns regarding vitamin E and its pro-oxidative effect on cholesterol. Oxidation causes the production of free radicals, which increases health concerns (ie cancer, heart disease, etc.). In SELECT, participants received 400 IU of dl-alpha tocopherol (one form of vitamin E). Many would argue that supplementing high levels of one form of vitamin E is associated with its own negative health consequences. Sharing this to show that the data analyzed from SELECT may have been ‘contaminated’ by the vitamin E supplementation which can impact results. Also, keep in mind that some participants were on prescription medications, were smokers, regularly drank alcohol, were overweight/obese, and/or had a first-degree relative with prostate cancer…all of which impact prostate cancer risk.
Omega 3 Levels
Here are the plasma omega 3 levels and the cancer risk found in this research:
Continue reading ‘Omega 3′s: Should You Stop Taking Fish Oil Supplements?’ »
Are you familiar with the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Diet? The DASH Diet is a very effective plan to lower blood pressure. However, it can be difficult to follow, especially if you don’t currently consume many vegetables. The DASH Diet calls for 4-5 servings of vegetables each day. One vegetable serving equals one-half cup or a one cup serving of greens, such as spinach and lettuce.
Here are 3 easy to locate aromatic vegetables you can incorporate more into your daily diet for a variety of health benefits. Aromatic vegetables are used to add flavor to many dishes.
Onions – Probably one of the most often used aromatic vegetables in the United States. Onions are high in allyl sulfides, which aid in the fight against heart disease and cancer. Onions provide inulin, vitamin C, fiber manganese, and folate.
Celery – A great low calorie addition to meals, celery promotes a lower blood pressure. Celery contains Vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium and quercetin. Quecetin is a flavonoid with anti-inflammatory properties to protect heart health.
Garlic – Reduces atherosclerosis, which is the thickening of your arterial walls, and reduces cancer risk.
Continue reading ‘Lower Blood Pressure with Vegetables’ »
Blood pressure should be checked every two years after the age of 21, annual checks after age 50, more frequent checks if you have risk factors. It is easiest to treat high blood pressure if you catch the gradual increase early on. If you have a family history of heart disease or stroke, all the more reason to pay attention.
Home Monitoring Blood Pressure
If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, it is wise to monitor your blood pressure at home, as well as your doctor’s office. Combining your readings with your doctor’s will provide a better measure of your high blood pressure and treatment to control it.
Also, home monitoring will rule out if you suffer from “white coat hypertension”. About 30% of individuals diagnosed with hypertension, have “white coat hypertension”. In other words, their blood pressure is elevated due to increased anxiety when visiting the doctor. The only way to know the effects on your blood pressure is to monitor it regularly. For the most accurate results, monitor your blood pressure at the same time every day.
DO NOT substitute home monitoring in place of regular MD checkups. Your MD appointments are very important, especially if your high blood pressure is being treated with medication.
Continue reading ‘How to Find the Right Blood Pressure Monitor’ »
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 65 million Americans have high blood pressure with approximately 74 percent taking medication to treat high blood pressure.
Research presented at the 61st American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session found internet-based telemedicine to lead to more effective medication prescriptions, improved blood pressure control, and a reduction in cardiovascular risk when compared to traditional, periodic office visits.
Telemedicine to monitor blood pressure refers to patients reporting blood pressure readings more frequently via web-based platforms. This led to more efficient and timely treatment plan adjustments if needed from their health care team.
Continue reading ‘Lower Blood Pressure More Effectively with Telemedicine’ »
Do you need to worry about how much salt you consume in your diet? It has been argued that only those who are “salt sensitive” need to be concerned about decreasing sodium/salt intake to lower blood pressure.
A study published online in Circulation researched how a high sodium diet may lead to hypertension. The study followed over 5000 participants from the Dutch PREVEND study for close to six and a half years. All participants did not have high blood pressure when the study began.
Researchers found high sodium intake to increase serum uric acid and urine albumin excretion. Increases in serum uric acid and urine albumin are two markers of endothelial dysfunction. The endothelium is the inner lining of blood vessels and a dysfunction is an imbalance of the substances that act on the endothelium leading to vasodilation and vasoconstriction.
As serum uric acid secretion increases, risk of developing hypertension increases. Researches found the same to occur as urinary albumin levels increased. The increased risk of hypertension with increased levels of sodium intake was only seen in participants with markers of endothelial dysfunction.
Studies have shown that consuming high levels of sodium for short periods of time to be associated with endothelial dysfunction. Researchers believe that repeat incidences of high sodium intake in the long term may explain rises in blood pressure connected to high sodium diets.
Continue reading ‘Do you need to cut back on salt to lower blood pressure?’ »
Typically cranberry juice is thought of as a home health remedy to treat urinary tract infections (UTI’s). Some recent research indicates cranberry juice may also promote lower blood pressure levels.
Let me begin by stating these study results are preliminary. More research needs to be conducted. The study, funded by Ocean Spray Cranberries, was published as an abstract and the results have not yet been peer-reviewed and published in a journal. Results were reported at a meeting of the American Heart Association in Washington, DC.
Placebo Controlled Study
Continue reading ‘Lower Blood Pressure with Cranberry Juice’ »
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in every three adults in the United States have hypertension (high blood pressure), but only about 50% of those with hypertension have it under control.
A study published April 2012 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found folic acid intake to impact the development of hypertension.
Study participants included 4400 individuals between the ages of 18 – 30 years-old without high blood pressure. Over the following twenty years participant blood pressure was evaluated six times. Participants also completed three dietary history questionnaires. One questionnaire was completed at the start of the study, a second during the study, and the third and final dietary questionnaire at the study conclusion (20 years).
During the 20 year period, 989 individuals developed hypertension. Individuals consuming diets with the highest folate levels were 52% less likely to develop high blood pressure compared to those with the lowest folic acid intake.
Serum folate measurements during the study confirmed the correlation between folic acid and high blood pressure development.
Some food sources of folate include:
Continue reading ‘Decrease Hypertension Risk by Increasing Folic Acid’ »
If you keep heart healthy foods on hand and easily accessible you will be much more likely to see success in your efforts to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. If you keep unhealthy foods within reach you will make it much harder to achieve your heart health goals. Don’t rely on will power! Stock you kitchen for success. Here are some essentials to keep on hand:
Whole grains, such as barley, oats, rice, buckwheat, and quinoa, are rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrient dense grains promote a healthy heart.
Continue reading ‘How to Stock a Heart Healthy Kitchen’ »
Waist circumference has a direct relationship to high blood pressure and lipid (cholesterol) levels.
A study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine found the greater the Waist-to-Height Ratio the worse the lipid profile and hypertension in adolescents.
This particular study evaluated 4,104 ninth-grade students between the ages of 14 and 15 years-old during the 2009 – 2012 school year. Body mass index was used to classify waist measurements.
The greater the waist-to-height ratio, the greater the risk for poor lipid profiles and high blood pressure compared to those with normal body mass indexes and waist-to-height ratios.
Continue reading ‘Lower Blood Pressure by Trimming Your Waistline’ »
By selecting whole grains you consume more nutrient dense foods that provide higher fiber content . . . all of which equals a heart healthy choice. Whole grain products contain all layers of the whole grain – the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. When it comes to selecting whole grains, you have many more options than just being sure to grab 100% whole wheat bread when grocery shopping. There are many whole grain varieties available to you.
Oats almost never having the bran or germ removed during processing. This means when you read a food label and see oats or oat flour listed as an ingredient, it’s safe to know this is a whole grain ingredient. Oatmeal has been linked to lower cholesterol levels.
Continue reading ‘Heart Health: Are you selecting whole grains?’ »