High Blood Pressure Diet Part 3
Reduce Your High Blood Pressure Naturally, Pulmonary Hypertension Can Kill You.
Tom Venuto Interviews Frank Mangano About The Best Natural Ways To Lower Your Blood Pressure, Reduce Your Waistline And Take Back Your Health. Part Three
Tom Venuto: Now, when you start talking about “alternative health” or “natural cures”, there is obviously some great interest in this subject today because many people want to avoid taking prescription drugs at all costs. There may be some real and legitimate alternative or natural solutions to drugs for helping to control blood pressure. The problem is, the word “quack” often comes up in the same breath as the word “alternative medicine” and the supplement industry is not tightly regulated and the FTC simply can’t keep up with all the claims being made on so many products. Maybe there are some real legitimate natural alternatives to drugs, but if they’re mixed in with all these bogus products, what’s a consumer supposed to do?
Frank Mangano: I know what you mean, Tom. It can be very overwhelming and confusing. You need to thoroughly do your homework and look at the list of ingredients carefully. Learn as much as you possibly can about the product. Try to find evidence that the product is as effective as the manufacturer claims. The key to choosing the right product comes from researching the product and the company that makes the product to find out which products have been tested and what studies have been conducted.
Also, steer clear of supplements that contain artificial binders, fillers, sweeteners and preservatives. Another tip is to purchase supplements in capsule form rather than tablets. Capsules are a better choice because they don’t include as much filler as tablets do and the nutrients can be more efficiently absorbed into the body.
Tom Venuto: Okay, well, just to prove the point of how confusing the marketplace is, I did a google search on high blood pressure remedies before this call and just like for obesity or any other health problem, you are bombarded with advertisements and all kind of claims. It’s pretty unreal what you come up with online after a few searches. I’m not an expert on blood pressure or blood pressure treatments so personally I found the claims and mass amount of information to be pretty overwhelming and even I wasn’t sure what to believe at first without doing some serious homework.
So I’m going to tap into your expertise some more and rattle off really quickly a whole list of blood pressure remedies that I found online and the claims that came with them and I’d like you to very quickly give your opinion along with your thumbs up – it helps, or thumbs down – its hype, ok?
Frank Mangano: Okay, fire away Tom.
Tom Venuto: Okay first one, pure essential oils. Lavender, rose, ylang ylang. Rub it on your wrist and in conjunction with your blood pressure medication your blood pressure will drop. Pretty cheap, only $14.95 and it says this will last for 6 months.
Frank Mangano: This might have some impact on blood pressure, but not completely from a nutritional standpoint. For example, lavender is an essential oil with a calming aroma. This can be used as a stress reliever, which we know lowers blood pressure. The rose is a good source of vitamin C, but has to be ingested. There are much better ways to get and assimilate vitamin C. The ylang ylang works like the lavender as an aroma therapy.
Tom Venuto: Alright, next one and you can’t miss this one online. Hyprava. The ad says it will lower your blood pressure 20, 30 or 50 points without drugs or harmful side effects. This is a bunch of herbs like hawthorn, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, valerian and bunch of other stuff, and it’s $67 a bottle.
Frank Mangano: All of the herbs you mentioned may help to lower blood pressure. What would be important about this supplement is to check the reputation of the manufacturer and the purity of the ingredients. You can make $67 worth of garlic and ginger go a long way in your cooking and add flavor and nutrition to your diet that way. The valerian root helps with stress reduction and the ginkgo improves circulation so all of these ingredients are good, if they are well formulated in the supplement.
Tom Venuto: Angioprim. I really couldn’t find an ingredients list of what this is, just gives a lot of warnings of what will happen to you if you don’t take it and that its an alternative to unplug blocked arteries. $299 for six month supply.
Frank Mangano: Angioprim contains three key ingredients: Caysine, which is a synthetic blend of amino acids; Lysine, an essential amino acid and Cystine, a non-essential amino acid. Amino acids are important to cardiovascular health. Lystine in particular cannot be manufactured by the body and must come from food sources such as potatoes, soy products, fish, and eggs. Cysteine is an unstable amino acid that converts to L-Cysteine and vice versa and both work as antioxidants as the body needs them for detoxification purposes. This supplement is promoted as an alternative to angioplasty surgery, which opens small arteries and eases the symptoms of angina. I would not make this decision on my own if I had been told I had a blocked coronary artery. If your doctor agrees that it is safe to wait and try this blend of amino acids, then I’d consider it. You just might be able to non-surgically relieve symptoms with this and other antioxidants.
Tom Venuto: Okay, this one sounds exotic. Muktavi. Ayurvedic herbal remedy for hypertension, anxiety and insomnia. Fast results in 3 to 4 days. It’s a whole bunch of Indian herbs. 1 month pack, $19.95 British pounds.
Frank Mangano: There are a lot of lesser known and exotic herbs in the Ayurvdiec remedy. If anyone is going to take such a supplement, it is important to know what each herb does and how it interacts with other herbs. You have to remember, that most modern pharmaceuticals are based on herbs, so herbs can cause powerful reactions in the body, just like a drug. I will tell you that there are less exotic, equally effective ways to get antioxidants and lower blood pressure.
Tom Venuto: This next one is said to be nature’s answer to lowering high blood pressure. Hawthorne, coleus forskolli – I’ve seen coleus in some diet pills too – olive leaf extract, odorless garlic, and B vitamins. A year’s supply about a hundred bucks.
Frank Mangano: Hawthorne is an excellent herb for lowering blood pressure because it directly works on the blood vessels. It causes them to dilate much like the Doxazosin, but without the side effects. Hawthorne also helps restore the heart muscle that has been overworked if blood pressure has remained high for long periods of time. Hawthorne contains many B vitamins and Vitamin C. Garlic also lowers blood pressure by improving circulation by its blood thinning action. Olive leaf extract is lesser known, but does improve blood pressure. Just look at the Mediterranean diet. Most people there eat plenty of garlic and olive oil and have relatively few problems with blood pressure. Again, much of the benefits of this supplement can be obtained through diet, or a single herb supplement.
Tom Venuto: I’m glad you keep mentioning that a lot of this stuff can be obtained from the food you eat – garlic, ginger, olive oil and so on. Ok, next one is Hyperexol. It says drops your blood pressure 30 points in 30 days or it’s FREE. That’s pretty specific and convincing with the guarantee. It says it’s a doctor approved formula, all natural ingredients. The ingredients list is magnesium oxide, calcium carbonate, potassium, alum sativa, hawthorne berry, vitamin C, cayenne pepper, taurine. Buy 2 bottles get 1 free $114.
Frank Mangano: It’s correct in its claims that this supplement contains ingredients proven to lower blood pressure. The next thing I look at when choosing a supplement, then, is the reputation of the manufacturer. Since herbs are not approved or regulated by the FDA, the industry must regulate itself. In the case of Hyperexol, this formula was devised by a naturopath who is board certified by their governing agencies. The website for the product also gives consumers easy to find and clear contact names and number – another good sign that this is a reputable company. While I’m not endorsing a particular brand of supplements, I can recommend that consumers contact the manufacturer of whatever supplement they are considering and ask them for their research information. You can ask such questions of the manufacturer as, “Where do you obtain your herbs? How are they processed? What studies have you conducted?” A good manufacturer will have this information readily available to send to you.
Tom Venuto: Okay last one, more herbal stuff, I’ve seen that all over the internet – herbs for blood pressure. This one is advertised as a natural remedy. Comes in capsules or liquid $36.95 a bottle. Most of the stuff in here I’ve never even heard of, then again I’m no herbalist, but I’ve heard of a few of these ingredients. Taraxum I’ve heard of – that’s dandelion – it’s often put into weight loss pills or herbal water pills or natural diuretics. There’s also olea europea, agathosma betulina, that’s butchu – also an herbal diuretic I’ve hear that one too, actually this whole formula looks to me like an herbal diuretic.
I do know for a fact that some of these natural herbal diuretics can temporarily remove water retention and I know about this from bodybuilders who use natural diuretics because they go into drug tested contests and prescription diuretics are banned or they just don’t want to mess with them. In fact, famous pro bodybuilders have died from taking lasix. But what about in the context of blood pressure, would an herbal diuretic be of any benefit?
Frank Mangano: Herbal diuretics are beneficial in controlling blood pressure. What I would caution people about is that diuretic use can cause severe potassium deficiencies. In fact, some of the prescription diuretics used to lower blood pressure are “potassium preserving” so that this doesn’t happen. A mild diuretic is okay, but I’d rely more on drinking plenty of water.
Tom Venuto: Let me fire a few quick questions at you point blank about all these advertised remedies. One, how do you know this stuff works? Do you take an advertisers word for it? Two, how do you know which one to choose – there’s so many – and these were just a few websites I found inside 10 or 15 minutes. Three, should people be self prescribing and self medicating after doing a little Internet research like I just did – is it safe? Is it even necessary or could healthy nutrition and exercise and losing excess fat be enough?
Frank Mangano: Those are all good questions, Tom. A little information can be dangerous, especially when it comes to health problems. There is little monitoring going on about what claims are true or false when it comes to herbal supplements too. Unfortunately the FDA doesn’t get involved until people start getting seriously injured and complaints are filed, such as with ephedra usage. Under the FDA’s Dietary Health and Supplement Education Act of 1994, the manufacturer is responsible for ensuring their products are safe before it goes to market. It doesn’t mention the effectiveness of the claims, but states the manufacturer must make sure the product label is truthful and not misleading. It leaves a lot of wiggle room for manufacturers that are not completely reputable to make unsubstantiated claims. Again, I’ll caution everyone who is listening that you need to get background information on a manufacturer before taking that supplement. The FDA does publish on their website tips for making informed choices about supplements. It’s found at FDA.org, and called, “Tips For The Savvy Supplement User: Making Informed Decisions And Evaluating Information.”
The basic vitamins, minerals and herbs that you need to maintain healthy blood pressure can be supplied – for the most part – by the foods you eat. It’s all about setting up a nutritional plan specific to supporting good blood pressure. If you do that, little, if any, supplementing will be need.
Tom Venuto: On the subject of supplements and natural or non-drug remedies, are there any that the medical establishment and scientific community give almost unanimous support for in the treatment of hypertension?
Frank Mangano: The medical community has really come to embrace fish oil supplements. They recognized through extensive research the benefits of the essential fatty acids and that the lack of these nutrients in the American diet especially is responsible for numerous health problems. There are a lot of other herbs that have been studied and the results of these clinical trials are often published by the National Institutes of Health and other federal health agencies or in prominent medical journals.
Tom Venuto: In your own personal opinion, are there any supplements that might fall under the “Alternative health” umbrella that the medical establishment and scientific community is hesitant to support or where they say maybe, but “more research is needed’ but which you think have potential?
Frank Mangano: There are a lot of supplements that the medical community just doesn’t want to embrace. But they haven’t vetoed them yet either. The problem with mainstream healthcare is that they are looking for ways to bottle and market a remedy and in doing so lose touch with what is already available to consumers. I know that they do this to ensure safety and purity of the remedies, but it is often at the expense of getting important information to the consumer. One example of this is with Vitamin C. This vitamin is known to boost the immune system, yet the medical establishment won’t necessarily recommend it for that purpose because more proof is needed – and that proof takes time and money.
One that has huge potential in lowering blood pressure but doesn’t have the full support of the medical community yet is L-Arginine. Herbalists consider arginine essential to controlling high blood pressure, yet the medical community believes that most people produce what they need and doesn’t support taking a supplement. If someone has a fatty liver and slow healing wounds or hair loss, then they may need to get more of this amino acid in their system.
The problem is not so much that the medical community believes these nutrients won’t help, it’s just they are not prepared to stick their necks out and take a definitive stand on most natural remedies.
Tom Venuto: And why is it that these potential solutions are not better known? What is it, some kind of conspiracy? I see this guy on TV all the time talking about natural cures “they” don’t want you to know about. Who is “they?” Is it really possible that the pharmaceutical industry has so much economic power and influence that they can suppress a natural remedy because that would cut into their drug profits, or is that too outrageous to be true.
Frank Mangano: I don’t believe any legitimate physician or scientist would want to hide the fact that there is a natural way to get healthy if they believed it would work. They often just don’t have the facts themselves, so they can’t pass this information along. I believe the drug manufacturers do have profits on their minds, but disguise this with scare tactics about how there has not been sufficient testing about how safe or effective natural remedies are – which just isn’t true. If more consumers demanded natural remedies, more would be done to test and educate. It’s happening already. There is a lot more activity in this area than just 5 or 10 years ago. That is making scientists and doctors more interested in finding out for themselves. The same thing happened with organic foods. Once people understood the benefits, there was a higher demand for them, and they started to be more readily available and affordable.
Tom Venuto: We’re almost out of time, but before we wrap this up, I want to ask you a question on a completely different note that is related to a personal interest of mine. I’m a natural bodybuilder as you know, obviously I do a lot of weight training, and a lot of people really believe that lifting weights raises blood pressure. My understanding of this is that lifting can cause a temporary rise in blood pressure during the exercise, especially on exercises where you do the Valsalva maneuver, which just means that you temporarily hold your breath through the sticking point of an exercise which will increase intra abdominal pressure and help you get through the difficult part of the lift. For example, you inhale on the way down on a leg press exercise, then at the bottom you reverse direction, hold your breath for a split second and then push through the sticking point and breathe out.
What I have read in the strength and conditioning literature is that this is only a transient rise in blood pressure and that if anything, a weight training program does not increase blood pressure long term, there is either no change in resting blood pressure or a decrease, depending on the person and the nature of the weight training program in question.
Here are my questions for you. Has your research found the same thing I did? Second, what about people who are not healthy and who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure. Should they be doing weight training? If so, how should they modify their workouts – I mean should they be doing heavy leg presses, squats and deadlifts and so on? Or what about higher reps and lighter weights? And last but not least, have you found any new research that’s just come out recently on whether weight training could either raise or lower resting blood pressure long term?
Frank Mangano: My research shows basically the same as what you found. Yes, there is a short-term raise in blood pressure during weight lifting, especially for those maneuvers where the breath is held. For a person who is in good cardiovascular health this isn’t a problem. For those who already have high blood pressure, weight training may even lower it, but the valsalva maneuver should be avoided until their every day blood pressure is consistently good.
Weight training, as you know, creates lean muscle mass, which increases metabolism and helps in weight reduction. Losing weight lowers blood pressure. To use weight training as a means of losing weight and lowering blood pressure I recommend the lower weight – higher reps workout. The circuit training approach is a great way for pre-hypertensive individuals to get control of their blood pressure before it becomes a dangerous health problem.
Tom Venuto: Well Frank, we’re just about out of time, so I want to say thank you, this has been a great interview and some great information I appreciate you sharing your time and expertise with my listeners. Even as a fitness professional myself, I’m learning new things here in the health field and expanding my perspectives and my definition of exactly what natural health, natural fitness and natural bodybuilding mean, because once again it means a lot more than just muscle, low body fat and looking good on the outside. Before we go, why don’t you give us your website address so if anyone listening wants to check out your e-book, ‘The Silent Killer Exposed’, they can just go online and read more about it.
Frank Mangano: You’re very welcome, Tom, it’s been my pleasure. You can find out everything you need to know about my book by visiting: The Silent Killer Exposed
Tom Venuto: Awesome, thanks again Frank.