Magnesium Pills May Improve Blood Pressure in At-Risk Populations

Magnesium and High Blood PressureA new meta-analysis found individuals with pre-diabetes, insulin resistance or other non-communicable chronic disease have a higher risk for hypertension (High Blood Pressure) but supplementation with Magnesium may lower their blood pressure.

11 gold-standard randomized controlled trials were reviewed.  Researchers found Magnesium supplementation significantly decreased both systolic (4.18 mmHg) and diastolic (2.27 mmHg) blood pressure.  It is believed that Magnesium effects vascular tone and thus improves endothelium (the layer of cells lining blood vessels) function which directly lowers blood pressure.  Additionally Magnesium has been reported to have a synergistic effect when combined with medications that are considered to be antihypertensive.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) lists Magnesium as being involved in over 300 enzymatic processes in the body, such as helping to maintain normal nerve and muscle functions, keeping our bones strong as well as supporting a healthier immune response.  This important mineral is also necessary for supporting healthy blood pressure and blood sugar management.  70% – 80% of the population in the United States is not achieving the recommended intakes of daily Magnesium.

Researcher concluded that a well-designed, double blind, randomized placebo-controlled clinical study is warranted to provide more substantial evidence as to the benefits of Magnesium supplementation on blood pressure as well as disease outcomes in patients with pre-diabetes, insulin resistance and other non-communicable chronic diseases.

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Dietary Potassium Linked with Lower Blood Pressure

HypertensionA new meta-analysis of several population studies has found that increasing dietary potassium may help with supporting healthier blood pressure levels.  Researchers looked at the link between blood pressure and dietary potassium, sodium and the ratio between potassium and sodium.

Researchers found that the higher the dietary potassium, measured from dietary recall and urinary excretion, the lower the participants blood pressure no matter how much sodium was ingested.  Other interventional studies with potassium supplementation showed a direct benefit of potassium and blood pressure reductions.  Researchers also reviewed recent animal studies that showed the body’s ability to balance sodium and potassium levels in the blood.  This is critical for nerve and muscle function as well as normal cardiovascular function.

Decreasing sodium intake has always been the way to reduce blood pressure, but new evidence suggests increasing potassium may be as important in reducing hypertension.  When potassium intake is high the kidneys excrete more water and salt which in turn increases potassium excretion concluded researchers.  Currently many modern diets consist of a lot of processed foods with added sodium unlike the diets of our early ancestors which were higher in potassium and very low in sodium.  This dietary shift has increased the risks of developing hypertension.  Hypertension affects over a billion people worldwide and it is estimated that high blood pressure is responsible for a least 51% of the deaths caused by strokes and 45% of the deaths caused by heart disease.

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L-Arginine-B Vitamin Combination Effective for Blood Pressure Improvements

High Blood PressureA new study has found a combination of the amino acid L-Arginine, Folic Acid, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12 may improve vascular function in addition to supporting a reduction in blood pressure.

81 people participated in this placebo-controlled clinical trial.  Study participants ranged in age from 40 to 65 years of age and were randomly assigned to receive a placebo or a combination of L-arginine and B vitamins (3 mg of B6, .4 mg of Folic acid, 2 mcg of B12 or 2400 mg of L-Arginine).  The study lasted for 6 months, 3 months with the assigned supplement combination or the placebo and 3 months with no supplementation.

Results showed a .37 increase in the reactive hyperemia index (RHI), a measure of endothelial function which shows improvements in vascular function, in the group taking the actual supplements with no significant changes seen in the group taking the placebo.  Additionally systolic blood pressure decreased significantly (6 mmHg) over the study period in the group supplementing with the actual supplement combination with no changes seen in the placebo group.

Most recently even modest changes in blood pressure (5 mmHg) were considered as being clinically significant and were associated with a 9% reduction in coronary heart disease risk and a 14% reduction in stroke risk.

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Garlic Plus Lemon May Improve Cholesterol Level, Lower Blood Pressure

heartA new study finds combining garlic and lemon juice may help reduce total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in individuals with high blood lipids and may improve their blood pressure as well.

Over 100 people with elevated blood lipid levels (hyperlipidemic) participated in this randomized controlled parallel-designed clinical study.  Participants were assigned to one of four groups randomly:  Group 1 received a combination of garlic and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice daily, Group 2 received only 20 grams of fresh garlic daily, Group 3 received 1 tablespoon of lemon juice daily and the last group received nothing.  The study lasted 8 weeks.

Group 1, the group which received both the garlic and the lemon juice showed significant reductions in both total cholesterol and bad cholesterol (LDL) when compared with the other groups.  Also larger reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure was seen only for Group 1, the group receiving the garlic and lemon juice and Group 2, the group receiving the garlic only when compared with the other 2 groups.  Larger reductions in BMI  (Body Mass Index) were seen in Group 1, the group receiving both the garlic and lemon juice when compared to the other groups.

Further studies are warranted.

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Meta-Analysis Digs Deeper into Magnesium’s Potential to Lower Blood Pressure

High Blood PressureA causal effect of magnesium supplementation for lowering blood pressure in adults was seen in a recent meta-analysis.

Data from 34 randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trials was reviewed.  Over 2,000 individuals, including normo-tensive and hypertensive people, between the ages of 18 and 84 were included in these trials. Study participants received either a 368 mg/day magnesium supplement or a placebo.  The study lasted 3 months.

Overall reductions in both systolic and diastolic blood pressures were seen in the magnesium supplementation group.  Serum magnesium was used to reflect the participant’s magnesium status.  Researchers found oral magnesium supplementation at a dose of 200 mg/day for 1 month was sufficient to significantly raise serum magnesium levels.

Magnesium, often called the “forgotten mineral” is involved in over 300 enzymatic processes in the body.  It is believed that approximately 70% to 80% of all Americans are not meeting the RDI of magnesium.

Further studies are planned.

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Ginger Linked to Healthier Heart

GingerA recently published paper shows daily consumption of ginger may reduce the risk of such chronic conditions like high blood pressure and coronary heart disease.

Over 4600 men and women over the ages of 18 participated in this study.  Different intakes of ginger (0 – 2 grams/day, 2 – 4 grams/day and 4 – 6 grams/day) were given to assess the effects of these varying dosages on a range of chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes, anemia, cerebrovascular disease, coronary heart disease, fatty liver disease and hyperlipidemia.

Results showed an association between ginger and its ability to reduce the risks of developing hypertension by 8% and coronary artery disease by 13% in people over 18.  Similar reductions were seen in participants over 40.  However the benefits of ginger in the reduction of hypertension disappeared in individuals over the age of 60.

Although the reason for ginger’s abilities to reduce the risks of these 2 individual chronic diseases is not completely understood, it is believed to be related to ginger’s potential to inhibit the enzyme ACE (angiotensin1-converting enzyme) and its ability to prevent lipid peroxidation in the heart.  These effects could also be linked to the polyphenols (plant based molecules that have antioxidant properties) which occur naturally in ginger.

Polyphenols are beneficial for skin protection, brain health, normal blood sugar support, immune system support, cardiovascular health and blood pressure support.

Researchers recommended a daily intake of 2 – 4 grams of ginger daily for the potential reduction in the risks associated with developing these chronic diseases.  However larger studies are needed to confirm these findings.

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Small Fish Oil Doses Enough to Lower Blood Pressure — Nature’s Vitamins

A new study finds that in individuals with a history of hypertension, even the smallest amount of fish oil may reduce blood pressure. Over 300 healthy women and men between the ages of 20 and 70 participated in this randomized controlled trial. Participants consumed either a placebo made from palm and soybean oil or a…

via Small Fish Oil Doses Enough to Lower Blood Pressure — Nature’s Vitamins