Gateway Health News

Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

(High Blood Pressure)

The muscle relaxing and cardiac benefits associated with magnesium have also
translated into a reduction in blood pressure in several clinical trials. In one such trial
91 middle-aged women with hypertension were given either magnesium or a placebo
daily for six months. At the end of the trail the average blood pressure readings were
significantly lower in the magnesium group. Evidence also exists that calcium
supplementation may be of value in the treatment and prevention of hypertension. In
studies there have been significant reductions in both the systolic and diastolic blood
pressure of hypertensives given calcium supplementation. The use of calcium with
magnesium is therefore recommended.

CoQ10 promotes overall cardiovascular health, and although it does not have a direct
influence over the mechanisms involved in hypertension, studies suggest that CoQ10 is
very effective in reducing blood pressure. CoQ10 is needed for energy production in
the heart muscle, and is frequently deficient in those with cardiovascular disease. The
energy produced is used by the heart muscle for the mechanical pumping action which
ensures effective circulation of the blood through the vascular system. Although
relatively abundant in food, CoQ10 tends to decline with age and is adversely affected
by statin medication, so supplementation may be important for those with
cardiovascular issues.

Researchers had previously identified a link between sub-optimal serotonin levels and
high blood pressure, with nutrients such as 5-hydroxytryptophan being used in some
studies as a blood pressure-lowering agent. This led some researchers to propose a
potential role for l-theanine in the maintenance of normal blood pressure. Preliminary
studies have provided encouraging results, but more research is required before this
theory can be confirmed.

Hawthorne (crataegus oxyacantha)
Research suggests that hawthorne extracts can lower blood pressure through the
combination of a number of effects. Hawthorne appears to dilate the arteries, inhibit
angiotensin converting enzyme, strengthen vascular integrity and have a mild diuretic
action. Hawthorne’s effects are cumulative, so consistent use is necessary to achieve
maximum benefits.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Flax or Fish oil)
Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce blood pressure in numerous studies. It
is thought that DHA may be the specific omega 3 fatty acid largely responsible for this
action. This long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid has been shown to have an
aldosterone reducing effect – aldosterone being a hormone responsible for increasing
blood pressure. In one study a 33% reduction in aldosterone levels was noted when
compared with control subjects given corn oil. In fact studies into DHA have reported
reductions in blood pressure of around 6mmHg systolic and 5mmHg diastolic in
hypertensive subjects.

Hypertension Summary
Nutrient/Herb Typical intake range
Magnesium1 200 – 600mg per day
CoQ102 60 – 200mg per day
L- Theanine3 50 – 600mg per day
Hawthorne berry extract4 150 – 450mg per day
Omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil)5 700 – 2800mg EPA/DHA per day

Saturated fat
Trans fat
Refined carbohydrates
Red meat
Fried foods

Garlic, onions, celery
Vegetarian proteins
Oily fish
Vegetables (especially leafy greens)
Nuts and seeds
Whole grains

Lifestyle Factors
Achieve ideal body weight
Vegetarian diets are associated with lower incidence of hypertension disease
Take regular exercise
Stop smoking
Avoid stress – stress increases aldosterone production and generally increases blood pressure.
Utilise stress management techniques.

1. High doses may cause loose stools. Those taking heart medication should use magnesium under
supervision from a Doctor.
2. Use under medical supervision if taking Warfarin as CoQ10 reduces the effectiveness of
Warfarin. Concurrent use with heart medication only under medical supervision.
3. May increase the activity of chemotherapeutic agents in tumour cells. Not to be taken
concurrently with anti-depressant medication. Do not take during pregnancy or lactation.
4. Do not take in conjunction with anticoagulant medication
5. Do not take in conjunction with anticoagulant medication