“Systolic of 140 isn’t good enough anymore.”
Keep your eyes on this development, folks. Potential game-changer. And a boon to Big Pharma. From NBCnews.com…
Lowering blood pressure to recommended levels can prevent dementia and the memory and thinking problems that often show up first [mild cognitive impairment], researchers reported Wednesday.
People whose top blood pressure reading was taken down to 120 were 19 percent less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment, the loss of memory and brain processing power that usually precedes Alzheimer’s, the study found. And they were 15 percent less likely to eventually develop cognitive decline and dementia.
It may take a few more years before the study conclusively shows whether the risk of Alzheimer’s was actually reduced because of the lower blood pressure,the researchers said.
It’s the first intervention that has been clearly demonstrated to lower rates of mental decline.
The findings come from a large trial of blood pressure called the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial, or SPRINT.
It has already found that lowering systolic blood pressure — the top number in a blood pressure reading — to 120 or less can prevent stroke, heart attacks, kidney disease and other problems.
Source: Tight blood pressure control can cut memory loss, study finds
Guess what else helps prevent memory loss and dementia? The Mediterranean Diet.
Two diet books in one
What kind of blood pressures are we talking about here? 147 mmHg systolic versus 134.
“Autopsies on nearly 1,300 older people, including about 640 clergy members, found more signs of damage and one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease in the brains of those with higher blood pressure than among those with pressure closer to normal, researchers reported Wednesday.”
Source: Late-life high blood pressure may harm the brain, study says – ABC News
You may need to cut back on alcohol.
Photo copyright: Steve Parker
Drugs to control hypertension can save your life. I prescribe them all the time. However, there are also “natural” ways to control high blood pressure. Click the link at bottom for some of the better known methods. If you’re trying to avoid drugs, you’ll probably need a combination of tricks. They don’t work for everybody.
Even if you’re already on drugs, you may be able to cut back or stop them if you adopt some of these tips. Check with your doctor first.
“High blood pressure is a dangerous condition that can damage your heart. It affects one in three people in the US and 1 billion people worldwide If left uncontrolled, it raises your risk of heart disease and stroke. But there’s good news. There are a number of things you can do to lower your blood pressure naturally, even without medication. Here are 15 natural ways to combat high blood pressure.”
Source: 15 Natural Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure
h/t Jan at The Low Carb Diabetic
Or more accurately, 1.1 to 1.3 mmHg over the course of six months in an Australian population. Systolic pressure, if you’re wondering. This isn’t clinically significant.
“A total of 166 men and women aged >64 y were allocated via minimization to consume either a MedDiet (n = 85) or their habitual diet (HabDiet; control: n = 81) for 6 mo. The MedDiet comprised mainly plant foods, abundant extra-virgin olive oil, and minimal red meat and processed foods. A total of 152 participants commenced the study, and 137 subjects completed the study. Home blood pressure was measured on 5 consecutive days at baseline (n = 149) and at 3 and 6 mo. Endothelial function (n = 82) was assessed by flow-meditated dilatation (FMD) at baseline and 6 mo. Dietary intake was monitored with the use of 3-d weighed food records. Data were analyzed with the use of linear mixed-effects models to determine adjusted between-group differences.Results: The MedDiet adherence score increased significantly in the MedDiet group but not in the HabDiet group (P < 0.001). The MedDiet, compared with the HabDiet, resulted in lower systolic blood pressure (P-diet × time interaction = 0.02) [mean: −1.3 mm Hg (95% CI: −2.2, −0.3 mm Hg; P = 0.008) at 3 mo and −1.1 mm Hg (95% CI: −2.0, −0.1 mm Hg; P = 0.03) at 6 mo]. At 6 mo, the percentage of FMD was higher by 1.3% (95% CI: 0.2%, 2.4%; P = 0.026) in the MedDiet group.”
Source: AJCN | Mobile
The effect is not great, but magnesium supplements are relatively cheap and safe. Excessive magnesium blood levels are prevented by healthy kidneys. If you have kidney impairment, you might develop magnesium toxicity when you take a supplement. Even if magnesium supplementation reduces average systolic blood pressure by only 2 points, half of supplementers will see a drop over 2 points.
Source: Magnesium Lowers Blood Pressure | Medpage Today:
“Magnesium supplementation leads to decreases in blood pressure among both hypertensive and normotensive adults, according to the findings of a meta-analysis.Taking 368-mg magnesium per day for 3 months led to 2.00 mm Hg reductions in systolic blood pressure (95% CI 0.43-3.58) and 1.78 mm Hg reductions in diastolic blood pressure (95% CI 0.73-2.82), Yiqing Song, MD, ScD, of the Indiana University School of Public Health in Indianapolis, and colleagues reported in a meta-analysis of 34 separate trials, published online in Hypertension.
“Our findings indicate a causal effect of magnesium supplementation on lowering blood pressures in adults,” the researchers concluded. “Our findings suggested that oral magnesium supplements can be recommended for the prevention of hypertension or as adjuvant antihypertensive therapy, although future rigorously designed randomized controlled trials with blood pressure assessment as primary outcomes are warranted to yield confirmatory evidence.”
…according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Some quotes:
The study found an average reduction in waist circumference of eight centimeters [3 inches], a reduction in systolic blood pressure of 6 mm Hg and an aerobic fitness improvement of 15 per cent over the first nine months of the study.
Improvements in waist circumference, blood pressure and fitness can lead to numerous other health benefits including a reduced risk of developing high blood pressure, as well as improving osteoarthritis symptoms, quality of life, physical functioning, and cognition.
The high-intensity interval training was done two or three times a week over 20-30 minutes each session. Click for an example of HIIT on a stationary bike. More basic info on HIIT.
The classic Mediterranean diet has too many carbohydrates for many diabetics, although it’s better for them than the Standard American Diet. That’s why I devised the Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet.
Steve Parker, M.D.
The nine studies analyzed included 341 people between the ages of 20 and 72 years old. The studies ranged from six to 26 weeks long. The average blood pressure reduction was 3.2/3.5 mmHg.
Those reductions have value but are not life-altering. However, these studies were mostly performed with healthy people with desired blood pressure numbers. In general, people with less room to improve will do just that: improve to a smaller degree. Men and women with hypertension are likely to see greater improvements.