318 – Maintaining Healthy Blood Pressure with Lifestyle and Nutrition

What you can do to improve and maintain healthier blood pressure*

James LaValle
Heart Support
CLICK on image for more interviews on Heart Support

In this interview Jim LaValle discusses the whys and hows of achieving healthier blood pressure levels. Jim discusses the nutrients that have good scientific basis for supporting healthy blood pressure. He especially focuses on Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract (AGE) because of the huge body of scientific studies confirming the benefits of AGE throughout the body.

DISCLAIMER: It is important that you understand that we are not talking about nor are we suggesting treating any medical issue with nutrition. If you have a disease or medical condition, see your doctor.

However, regardless of whether you have a disease or not, you still need to be well nourished and live a healthier lifestyle. In this interview with Jim, we will focus on the lifestyle and nutrition factors that you need to know. If you are on medications, talk to your doctor about your nutrients. You should also learn about the side effects of your medications and if needed consider supporting your liver health. Many drugs are hard on your liver. Try to understand the many factors that influence blood pressure and employ the strategy that makes the most sense to you. It is your body. Take responsibility and you will find the best path forward.

I think it is a fair question to ask “What is missing in the current medical model for treating high blood pressure?” There are several items for you to consider. You can’t make an informed decision if you don’t understand your circumstances and options.

  • What is your blood pressure in the doctor’s office compared to blood pressure taken at different times, places and circumstances? Do you have white coat syndrome, which is when your blood pressure is up just because you are in the doctor’s office? What is your blood pressure when you are relaxed and at home? You need to know if your BP is up all the time or not.
  • What are your numbers compared on the scale of low to high on average. Are you 120, 140, 160, 180, etc? The degree of risk is lower the closer you are to “normal”. If you are near normal, then the opportunity to improve without drugs is greater. Where do you fit on the scale? In either case lifestyle choices are critical. You must support your body and give it what it needs. You must nourish the tissues involved especially the blood vessels.
  • What are the lifestyle choices that can affect BP? Diet, exercise, supplementation, stress management, deep breathing, good sleep are very important. For the average healthy person these interventions are likely to be very successful. For someone with health complications or very high BP, the lifestyle choices are still important, but as an adjunct to medical care. In either case, give your body a chance to repair and restore through lifestyle and nutritional supplementation.
  • What are the benefits and risks associated with pharmaceutical interventions? If you don’t understand this you cannot know if a medication is likely to help and what are the side effects.

Numbers Needed to Treat
I recommend that you visit a site called theNNT.com. There you can research many drugs in order to understand the risks versus the benefits. Here are the finding from a recent analysis of how many people must be given drugs in order to benefit one person with elevated BP.

In the case of BP drugs for people with blood pressure of 170, you have to treat 125 people for 5 years to prevent 1 death. You have to treat 88 people for 5 years to prevent 1 stroke and you have to treat 100 people for 5 years to prevent 1 heart attack. So the drugs are not very effective or necessary. You have to treat a lot of people to have a benefit for 1 person. It is no wonder that our nation is over-medicated. People with modestly high BP with no cardiovascular issues are not likely to receive any benefit. 10% of patients will discontinue treatment due to side effects of the medication. Here is an analysis and excerpt from theNNT.com:

  • Blood Pressure Medicines for Five Years to Prevent Death, Heart Attacks, and Strokes
  • Efficacy Endpoints: Mortality, stroke, coronary artery disease, cardiovascular events
  • Harm Endpoints: Stopping medication due to adverse events

Narrative: Hypertension affects almost 29% of adults in the United States, most of whom are taking medication to lower their blood pressure. Blood pressure control has been shown to reduce the chances of developing cardiovascular problems and stroke (Mancia et al, 2009), however these reductions are derived from studies of patients with moderate or severe hypertension, and those with a history of prior cardiovascular events such as heart attack or stroke. However, evidence has been unclear on whether pharmacological treatment for previously healthy patients with ‘mild’ hypertension is beneficial.

This review included four randomized-controlled trials enrolling 8,912 subjects with mild elevations in blood pressure (systolic blood pressure 140-159 or diastolic blood pressure 90-99) without preexisting cardiovascular disease.

At a period of four to five years follow up, no differences were seen in mortality, cardiovascular events, CAD, or stroke. Approximately 9% more patients in the treatment arms withdrew due to medication side effects. End excerpt.

Let that sink in. Five years of being medicated and there is NO difference in outcomes!! This is one of the dirty secrets of the pharmaceutical industry. Their drugs are less effective than we are told. The harms are greater than we are told.

This does not suggest that you should not use prescribed medications. It is to suggest that you should become informed about the true risks and benefits of any medications you take or are considering.

It also suggests that the lifestyle and nutritional choices outlined by Jim are likely to be much more important and effective in achieving better overall health including blood pressure.

CLICK HERE to listen to all Kyolic interviews. This includes interviews with Dr. Matthew Budoff and Dr. Karen Reid who did some of the foundational research on Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract for cardiovascular health.

About James LaValle, RPh, CCN
James LaValle is a nationally recognized clinical pharmacist, author, board certified clinical nutritionist, founder of Metabolic Code Enterprises, Inc. He founded and practices at Progressive Medical Center in Orange County, CA.  LaValle has 27 years of expertise in natural therapeutics application and drug/nutrient depletion issues and uncovering the underlying metabolic issues that keep people from feeling healthy and vital. As such he has written hundreds of articles for a variety of industry journals and publications, and has lectured for thousands of healthcare professionals and consumer audiences globally on these topics. He was a founding author of the NHI on Demand database and spearheaded the Lexi Comp databases relating to natural therapeutics.

He is author of 16 e-books and 20 books and was named one of the “50 Most Influential Pharmacists” by American Druggist magazine and was one of only nine Americans selected to participate in the inaugural Dietary Supplement Education Alliance; Dietary Supplement Information Bureau.


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