Science Update

Blood pressure medication cannot reverse previous cardiovascular damage

Its not a question as to whether antihypertensive medication can significantly reduce the risk for a heart attack and stroke; however this approach cannot reverse all of the previous damage or restore cardiovascular disease risk to ideal levels according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

This study analyzed whether effective treatment of hypertension could lower the risk of cardiovascular disease to that seen in people who have always had ideal blood pressure levels.

Obviously the best outcomes were seen in individuals who always had ideal blood pressure and never needed medication. Individuals who were treated with medication and achieved an optimal blood pressure level were still approximately at twice the risk of cardiovascular disease than healthy individuals; of course people with untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure were at the greatest risk.

These results confirm the importance of prevention and early detection. There needs to be a greater effort to maintain healthy blood pressure levels in younger adults in order to avoid increases in blood pressure as they get older that may require medication down the road. The author states that there needs to be a greater focus on healthy lifestyles and healthier eating patterns.

As practitioners we need to investigate some of the factors that can contribute to hypertension a condition which in many cases can be solved by simply addressing magnesium potassium and other nutrient deficiencies. By using the right blood tests it is crucial to properly assess RBC nutrients such as magnesium calcium and potassium since they play a significant role with blood pressure regulation. These lab tests provide 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 are exposed to these on a daily basis. Moderate to high levels of these metals in the circulation can significantly impact blood pressure. Also CoQ10 (ubiquinone) is a powerful antioxidant most prominent in the heart which regulates cardiac function as well as protects against arrhythmias cardiomyopathy and hypertension.

Its a fact that more than 50% of Americans are magnesium deficient. I cannot stress enough the importance of magnesium deficiency as a serious and common health problem and probably the greatest predictor of all aspects of heart disease. Moderate doses of CoQ10 (200mg) and chelated bioavailable forms of minerals such as magnesium malate and potassium glycinate complex are great nutrients to support blood pressure. In addition hawthorn vitamin B6 and taurine have mild diuretic effects. Pomegranate also has a multitude of polyphenolic antioxidant compounds associated with blood pressure reduction.

It is important to keep in mind that high blood pressure is often just a small part of the picture making it necessary to look deeper at the cardiovascular system of the hypertensive patient.


By Michael Jurgelewicz DC DACBN DCBCN