blood pressure levels

  1. Vitamin C lowers BP

    When a drug drops BP levels by a few lousy points, docs throw a party. When a vitamin does the same thing they claim, "it's only a few lousy points."

    Which is it?

    These days, docs are turning up their noses at an analysis of 29 studies that found 500 mg of vitamin C a day can trim 5 points off the systolic blood pressure (the top number) in patients with "high" blood pressure.

    I'm not one to get excited over 5 points myself, but those same docs will tell anyone 5 points over the threshold -- a threshold that seems to get lower every year -- that they need medication.

    So this should be good news to them, right?

    Wrong!

    "(B)efore we can recommend supplements as a treatment for high blood pressure, we really need more research to understand the implications of taking them," study author Edgar "Pete" R. Miller III, MD, PhD, wrote in a news release.

    Really, Pete?

    If there's any vitamin as well understood as vitamin C, I can't name it. You need this stuff, and plenty of it -- and while I've seen analysts claim the 500 mg a day in the study is a high dose, it's nothing of the sort.

    It's what I call a "good start," because most people need about 1,200 mg a day -- and if you get that much, you might even shave a few more points off those BP levels.

    But take it because you need more C -- not because you're worried about BP. In fact, if you're just 5 or so points off the target, you've got nothing to worry about.

    If your levels suddenly shoot up for a reason that's not immediately obvious and then remain high, you might need a little more help -- and I don't mean a vitamin OR a med.

    You need a doctor who can figure out why it happened. I suggest using a naturopathic doctor. You can find one in the directory on the Web site of the American College for Advancement in Medicine.

  2. The most dangerous way to lose weight

    Rejected diet drug staging a comeback

    It's the drug that could push dieters to the brink of a heart attack -- and it may be coming soon to a pharmacy near you.

    The drug Contrave has been linked to increased blood pressure levels and pulse rates -- which is why the FDA actually REJECTED it earlier this year. (Trust me, I was as surprised as you are.)

    But when the company that makes the drug stood up to the FDA, the agency backed down. (Now THERE'S the FDA we've all come to know and hate.)

    When the feds rejected the med, they demanded a major long-term study to make sure the drug's possible heart risks wouldn't kill too many people.

    That study never happened.

    Instead, they ended up signing off on a much less ambitious two-year study that proves absolutely nothing. And you know what that means. When this drug eventually hits the market, you'll be the guinea pig that determines the real heart risks.

    And believe me, there WILL be risks: Contrave isn't just one potentially bad med. It's a two-fer -- a powerful antidepressant and a risky anti-addiction drug rolled into one. And the blood pressure and pulse problems are only the beginning.

    Patients in clinical trials suffered headaches, nausea, and more -- with one battling a gall bladder infection and another coming down with seizures. It's no wonder 40% of trial participants DROPPED OUT.

    If that's not enough to keep you away from the med, consider this: It doesn't even work!

    As little as 40 percent of the people who took it in clinical trials experienced a loss in body weight of 5 percent or more -- meaning obese people who pop these pills will become slightly less obese pill-poppers... if they manage to lose any weight at all.

    But you don't need to wait for the next risky diet drug to drop those pounds. There are safe and natural ways to get the job done right, and they start with what's on your dinner plate.

    For more on the best diets -- including the low-rated lifestyle that's moving to the top of my list -- check out the September issue of the Douglass Report.

    Not a subscriber? Sign up here -- unlike those meds, my newsletter comes with a risk-free guarantee.

  3. The white coats are coming! The white coats are coming!

    You know the drill: If you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself. That's especially true when it comes to checking your blood pressure levels -- because just your doctor's presence can send your BP levels shooting up to the moon.
  4. How sugar raises blood pressure

    The mainstream has stumbled upon this crazy idea that sugar may be a risk factor for heart disease.

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