A natural combo for easing the "silent killer"
When you have high blood pressure (a.k.a. hypertension), the truth is you may not actually feel like anything is wrong.
They call it the "silent killer," because it puts you at greater risk of stroke, heart attack, and aneurysm -- often WITHOUT symptoms to tip you off that it's happening.
Taking prescription meds to lower your BP, on the other hand, can make you so dizzy that you're likely to fall. And if you're a little on the older side, even a minor fall can do some major damage.
You know you can't let your blood pressure go through the roof... and fortunately a new study shows that you can treat your high blood pressure effectively AND feel great without drugs.
Researchers in Germany have found that supplementing with a combination of the amino acid L-arginine -- along with the B vitamins folic acid, B6, and B12 -- can help you safely and effectively lower your blood pressure, with NO adverse side effects.
The three-month study, published in the European Journal of Nutrition, gathered 81 middle-aged folks with mild to moderate blood pressure and randomly assigned them to receive either a placebo or a combination of L-arginine and B vitamins.
At the end of 90 days, systolic blood pressure decreased by an average of 6 mmHg for the treatment group, compared to no significant decrease for the placebo group.
That may sound like a small drop, but it's actually pretty mighty.
To give you a reference point, previous research has shown that a 5 mmHg decrease in systolic blood pressure can equal a 14 percent reduction in stroke risk and a 9 percent reduction in coronary heart disease risk -- not too shabby!
Not only that, but another measure of vascular system health improved in the German study, too: something known as the reactive hyperemia index (RHI), which is a marker of healthy blood vessel function.
Among those in the treatment group only, RHI increased by .37 -- another small change that packs a big punch. A normal RHI score is 1.67 or higher, so improving yours by even a fraction can have a substantial impact.
As if all of that weren't enough, the study also showed that levels of the amino acid homocysteine -- which is linked to a higher risk of heart failure and stroke -- decreased among those in the treatment group only.
That's a bundle of evidence that if you have hypertension, you should get more L-arginine and B vitamins in your system.
Eating a Paleo diet of plentiful meat and vegetables will likely up your levels of both.
You can find L-arginine in protein sources such as beef, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy. Leafy greens and citrus fruits are good sources of folate (B9), while B6 and other B vitamins are bountiful in bell peppers, summer squash, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower.
If these foods aren't your cup of tea, you can find your new hypertension fighters in supplement form.