Research & Education

Delving Deeper into Hypertension

Approximately one in three people have high blood pressure a serious condition that can lead to heart disease stroke and other health problems. Unfortunately most traditional physicians never investigate the factors that can contribute to hypertension. If it's high you go on medication. It's that simple.

There are several lab tests that are essential for high blood pressure patients. It is crucial to assess RBC nutrients such as magnesium calcium and potassium since they play a significant role with blood pressure regulation. This provides a better indicator of nutrient status compared to the serum. In addition it is important to test heavy metals in the blood such as aluminum arsenic cadmium lead and mercury. Our environment is more toxic then ever and many people get exposed to these on a daily basis. Moderate to high levels of these metals in the circulation can significantly impact blood pressure as well. Two oxidative stress markers I would evaluate are homocysteine and coenzyme Q10. Homocysteine is used to assess methylation function associated with vascular disease. CoQ10 (ubiquinone) is a powerful antioxidant most prominent in the heart that regulates cardiac function as well as protects against arrhythmias cardiomyopathy and hypertension.

Dr. Peter Langsjoen a Texas cardiologist published a study reporting the benefits of CoQ10 in patients with high blood pressure. He selected 109 patients with hypertension and added a high dose of CoQ10 to their current blood pressure medication. Over 80% of these patients had been on blood pressure medication for over a year and 50% had been on one or more blood pressure medications for over 10 years. The dose was adjusted to achieve a CoQ10 blood level of greater than 2mcg/ml which was an average of 225mg of CoQ10 per day.

A gradual improvement in blood pressure was observed between the first six months. After six months of CoQ10 supplementation 51% of the patients came completely off one to three blood pressure-lowering medications.

High blood pressure issues in many cases can be solved by simply addressing magnesium potassium and other nutrient deficiencies. Moderate doses of CoQ10 (200mg) and chelated bioavailable forms of minerals such as magnesium malate chelate and potassium glycinate complex are great nutrients to support blood pressure. In addition hawthorn B6 and taurine have mild diuretic effects. Pomegranate also has a multitude of polyphenolic antioxidant compounds associated with blood pressure reduction.

High blood pressure is many times just a small part of the picture. Thus it is important to look deeper at the cardiovascular system. Most patients get the routine work up of a CBC basic metabolic panel and lipid panel. These are meaningful however most never test lipoprotein(a). Studies have demonstrated Lp(a) as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. In addition some other chronic inflammatory markers associated with overall heart health include ferritin fibrinogen Lp-PLA2 and high sensitivity c-reactive protein (hs-CRP).  Delving deeper into the surrounding factors will help greatly in providing valuable insight into formulating an effective treatment plan for patients with hypertension.

by Michael Jurgelewicz DC DACBN DCBCN