HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
ELEVATED HOMOCYSTEINE LEVELS
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), principally heart disease and stroke, is the nation's leading killer for both men and women among all racial and ethnic groups. More than 960,000 Americans die of CVD each year, accounting for more than 40 percent of all deaths. About 58 million Americans (almost one-fourth of the nation's population) live with some form of cardiovascular disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of premature, permanent disability among working adults. Stroke alone accounts for disability among more than one million people nationwide. Almost six million hospitalizations each year are due to cardiovascular disease. Congestive heart failure, one form of cardiovascular disease, is the single most frequent cause of hospitalization for people aged 65 years or older.
Angina pectoris (angina) is a recurring pain or discomfort in the chest that happens when some part of the heart does not receive enough blood. It is a common symptom of coronary heart disease (CHD), which occurs when vessels that carry blood to the heart become narrowed and blocked due to atherosclerosis (see below). Angina is usually precipitated by exertion.
Arteriosclerosis is a group of diseases characterized by the thickening of the artery wall -- the hardening and calcification of the arteries -- and in the narrowing of its lumen. Hardening of the arterial wall is due to various depositions within the plaque including fibrin, lipids, cholesterol crystals, and calcium salts. These depositions make the arteries bone-like rigid tubes. They are most prominently found in the disease, atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is a specific type of arteriosclerosis involving fatty deposits that affect large arteries, and the underlying pathologic condition is most cases of coronary heart disease, aortic aneurysm, peripheral vascular disease and stroke.
Blood Pressure (Elevated)
Blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of arteries. Blood pressure rises and falls during the day. When blood pressure stays elevated over time, it is called high blood pressure or hypertension.
Blood pressure is typically recorded as two numbers -- the systolic pressure (as the heart beats) over the diastolic pressure (as the heart relaxes between beats). A consistent blood pressure reading of 140/90 mm Hg or higher is considered high blood pressure.
Systolic pressure is the force of blood in the arteries as the heart beats. It is shown as the top number in a blood pressure reading High blood pressure is 140 mmHg and higher for systolic pressure. Diastolic pressure does to need to be nearly as high (usually over 80mm Hg) for you to have high blood pressure.
If left uncontrolled, high blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, congestive heart failure, kidney damage, blindness, or other conditions. Yet, most Americans do not have their systolic pressure under control. Some natural remedies for high blood pressure are: Policosanol-Gugulipid, Vitalzym and Water Ease.
Other important natuaral remedies for high blood pressure are Coenzyme Q-10, Cod Liver Oil, Living Multi Optimal Formula, Niacin Supreme.
We can all agree on the American Heart Association's description of cholesterol as a soft, waxy substance found among the lipids (fats) in the bloodstream and in all your body's cells. We can even all agree that it's normal to have cholesterol. After all, cholesterol is an important part of a healthy body because it's used to form cell membranes, some hormones and serve other needed bodily functions.
With this in mind, it is disturbing that cholesterol has been given such a terrible beating by the medical establishment. It doesn't deserve its evil reputation. Keep in mind the following points so eloquently summarized by Danish physician Uffe Ravnskov, M.D., Ph.D.:
A high cholesterol is not dangerous by itself, but may reflect an unhealthy condition, or it may be totally innocent.
High blood cholesterol is said to promote atherosclerosis and thus also coronary heart disease. But many studies have shown that people whose blood cholesterol is low become just as atherosclerotic as people whose cholesterol is high.
The body produces three to four times more cholesterol than you eat. The production of cholesterol increases when you eat little cholesterol and decreases when you eat much. This explains why the "prudent" diet or "low saturated fat" diet cannot lower cholesterol more than on average a few percent.
There is no evidence that too much animal fat and cholesterol in the diet promotes atherosclerosis or heart attacks. For instance, more than twenty studies have shown that people who have had a heart attack haven't eaten more fat of any kind than other people, and degree of atherosclerosis at autopsy is unrelated to diet.
The new cholesterol-lowering drugs, the statins, do prevent cardiovascular disease, but this is due to other mechanisms than cholesterol-lowering. Unfortunately, they also stimulate cancer in rodents.
Many of these facts have been presented in scientific journals and books for decades but are rarely told to the public by the proponents of the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs since these drugs represent major profits to corporate interests.
The reason why laymen, doctors and most scientists have been misled is because opposing and disagreeing results are systematically ignored or misquoted in the scientific press.
A more likely culprit in heart disease is elevated homocysteine. In the optimally functioning body, homocysteine is only an intermediate point in a metabolic pathway that starts with consumption of foods rich in the essential amino acid methionine. At the end of this pathway, methionine generally is metabolilzed to cysteine. For this conversion to be completed, however, requires the help of an enzyme called cystathionine synthetase, and the coenzyme pyridoxal phosphate. If this metabolic pathway is stymied, homocysteine accumulates in the blood and exerts a toxic effect on the inner linings of the body's blood vessels, causing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol to accumulate. J.C. Tsai and co-investigators report in a 1994 study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that homocysteine stimulates the proliferation of smooth-muscle cells, a key factor in narrowing of the arteries. Another potential mechanism of toxicity is impaired production of endothelium-derived relaxing factor.
There are several causes of elevated homocysteine levels. The most dramatic elevation, which leads to life-threatening vascular abnormalities at a young age, is due to rare genetic enzymatic defects at various points in the metabolic pathway. A far more common cause is diet. In particular, three members of the vitamin B complex family - folate (also known as folic acid), vitamin B6, and vitamin B-12 - enable this full conversion to take place. Foods rich in folate include deep green leafy vegetables, carrots, liver, egg yolk, cantaloupe, apricots, pumpkins, avocados, beans, and whole dark rye flour. Vitamin B-6 rich foods are brewer's yeast, wheat germ, liver, fermented soy foods, cantaloupe, cabbage, blackstrap molasses, brown rice, eggs, oats, peanuts, and walnuts - those rich in vitamin B12 include animal foods such as liver, beef, eggs, milk, and cheese. A 1998 study published in the Netherland Journal of Medicine reports that vegetarians and vegans have higher levels of homocysteine compared to people who have high fat and meat intakes.
It is also quite clear that the homocysteine theory of heart disease might someday displace the fat/cholesterol theory. What makes the homocysteine theory even more appealing is that Kilmer McCully, M.D., the doctor/scientist who must be credited with its founding, is also a pathologist. He found the smoking gun - signs of homocysteine toxicity - even in arteries of people with normal to low cholesterol levels who have been felled by heart disease.
Triglycerides are the form in which fat exists in meats, cheese, fish, nuts, vegetable oils, and the greasy layer on the surface of soup stocks or in a pan in which bacon has been fired. In a healthy person, triglycerides and other fatty substances are normally moved into the liver and into adipose cells to provide energy for later use. Triglycerides are the chemical form in which most fat exists in the body.
The current conventional wisdom is high levels of triglycerides create a risk for a heart attack or stroke. No less a publication than "Circulation" from the American Heart Association has been in the forefront of exposing the triglyceride-heart disease link. There is merit to this work. But high triglycerides may be symptomatic of a diet that is too high in carbohydrates and refined foods and low in protein and the good fats. This is probably the true issue.
The latest epidemiological studies from Harvard University make it clear that the good fats are not only benign when it comes to heart disease but actually reduce risk. Therefore a diet with adequate protein and healthy fats from the proper foods, is beneficial in healing heart disease. The real culprit in heart disease is our overly processed, carbohydrate-rich food supply. The promoters of low-protein, low-fat diets remain oblivious to many factors, but most important is that no amount of supplementation can substitute for the proper balance of fat and protein that is obtained from eating healthy foods.
Natural Remedies for Angina, Arteriosclerosis/ Atherosclerosis,High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Elevated Triglycerides and Elevated Homocysteine Levels:
Cod Liver Oil
Living Multi Optimal Formula
Carnitine Tartrate Powder