Definition of High Blood Pressure

Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health e-Zine
October 28, 2012

	Ninety-one percent of North Americans will develop high 
blood pressure that puts them at increased risk for heart 
attacks, strokes, kidney disease, and diabetes and premature 
death.   Lowering high blood pressure helps to prevent disease 
and prolong life.  Blood pressure has two numbers, *systolic, 
when the heart contracts, and *diastolic, when it relaxes.  The 
heart contraction (systolic) is most important. If your SYSTOLIC 
blood pressure is greater than 120, you have high blood pressure 
and should change your lifestyle to lower it.   If it is greater 
than 140, your doctor usually prescribes pills in addition to 
lifestyle changes. 
	WHEN TO TAKE YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE: Take your blood pressure 
just before you go to bed at night. Blood pressure is usually 
lower then and just after you wake in the morning.  Blood 
pressures that do not drop at bedtime or are high when you wake 
in the morning increase risk for heart attacks and strokes.
	SALT: For most people, excess salt intake is associated 
with high blood pressure and a modest reduction in salt intake 
for four or more weeks will help lower it somewhat (Cochrane 
Database Syst Rev.  March, 2004;3).  However, many people do not 
develop high blood pressure when they take in large amounts of 
salt, and most people who have high blood pressure will not have 
a lowering of blood pressure when they try to restrict salt. 
People are classified as salt sensitive and salt insensitive on 
the basis of whether their blood pressure rises with excess salt 
intake, but there is no readily available lab test to diagnose 
those who are salt sensitive. People who are overweight, diabetic 
or do not exercise are the ones most likely to develop high blood 
pressure from excess salt intake.  These people should restrict 
salt.  Exercisers sweat heavily and usually need to take in a lot 
of salt to replace their losses. 
pressure is associated with higher salt, alcohol or protein 
intake, and lower potassium, calcium or magnesium intake (Clin 
Care. Jan, 2002;5(1):9-19).  Other risk factors for hypertension 
include obesity and lack of regular physical activity (European 
Heart Journal, Dec. 2011;32(24):3081-7).
* ALCOHOL:  Women who take one alcoholic drink a day and men who 
take two are at decreased risk for high blood pressures. Taking 
more than that, or binging even occasionally, raises blood 
* OVERWEIGHT:  The fatter you are, the higher the blood pressure. 
* LACK OF EXERCISE:  Exercise often lowers high blood pressure.
fruits and vegetables and low in saturated and total fat (DASH 
diet) lowers high blood pressure.
* EATING TOO MUCH MEAT.  A high-protein diet increases risk of 
high blood pressure. 
          Neither caffeine nor nicotine has been shown to cause 
sustained high blood pressure. 
* Lose weight if overweight
* Exercise regularly
* Eat a diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, 
beans, nuts and other seeds, and low in saturated fat (red meat) 
and refined carbohydrates.  Avoid sugared drinks and if 
overweight, reduce your intake of foods made from flour or with 
added sugars.
* If you drink alcohol, limit yourself to one drink a day. (A 
drink is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, and 2/3rds of shot 
glass of alcohol)
* Check your blood pressure just before you go to bed at night.



Diet soda is doing these 7 awful things to your body

By Mandy Oaklander, Prevention

Pop quiz! What’s the single biggest source of calories for Americans? White bread? Big Macs? Actually, try soda. The average American drinks about two cans of the stuff every day. “But I drink diet soda,” you say. “With no calories or sugar, it’s the perfect alternative for weight watchers…Right?”

Not so fast. Before you pop the top off the caramel-colored bubbly, know this: guzzling diet soda comes with its own set of side effects that may harm your health–from kickstarting kidney problems to adding inches to your waistline.

Unfortunately, diet soda is more in vogue than ever. Kids consume the stuff at more than double the rate of last decade, according to research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Among adults, consumption has grown almost 25 percent.

But knowing these 7 side effects of drinking diet soda may help you kick the can for good.

Kidney Problems
Here’s something you didn’t know about your diet soda: It might be bad for your kidneys. In an 11-year-long Harvard Medical School study of more than 3,000 women, researchers found that diet cola is associated with a two-fold increased risk for kidney decline. Kidney function started declining when women drank more than two sodas a day. Even more interesting: Since kidney decline was not associated with sugar-sweetened sodas, researchers suspect that the diet sweeteners are responsible.

Messed-Up Metabolism
According to a 2008 University of Minnesota study of almost 10,000 adults, even just one diet soda a day is linked to a 34% higher risk of metabolic syndrome, the group of symptoms including belly fat and high cholesterol that puts you at risk for heart disease. Whether that link is attributed to an ingredient in diet soda or the drinkers’ eating habits is unclear. But is that one can really worth it?

You read that right: Diet soda doesn’t help you lose weight after all. A University of Texas Health Science Center study found that the more diet sodas a person drank, the greater their risk of becoming overweight. Downing just two or more cans a day increased waistlines by 500%. Why? Artificial sweeteners can disrupt the body’s natural ability to regulate calorie intake based on the sweetness of foods, suggested an animal study from Purdue University. That means people who consume diet foods might be more likely to overeat, because your body is being tricked into thinking it’s eating sugar, and you crave more.

A Terrible Hangover
Your first bad decision was ordering that whiskey-and-diet-cola — and you may make the next one sooner than you thought. Cocktails made with diet soda get you drunker, faster, according to a study out of the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia. That’s because sugar-free mixers allow liquor to enter your bloodstream much quicker than those with sugar, leaving you with a bigger buzz.

Cell Damage
Diet sodas contain something many regular sodas don’t: mold inhibitors. They go by the names sodium benzoate or potassium benzoate, and they’re in nearly all diet sodas. But many regular sodas, such as Coke and Pepsi, don’t contain this preservative.

That’s bad news for diet drinkers. “These chemicals have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it – they knock it out altogether,” Peter Piper, a professor of molecular biology and biotechnology at the University of Sheffield in the U.K., told a British newspaper in 1999. The preservative has also been linked to hives, asthma, and other allergic conditions, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Since then, some companies have phased out sodium benzoate. Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi have replaced it with another preservative, potassium benzoate. Both sodium and potassium benzoate were classified by the Food Commission in the UK as mild irritants to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes.

Rotting Teeth
With a pH of 3.2, diet soda is very acidic. (As a point of reference, the pH of battery acid is 1. Water is 7.) The acid is what readily dissolves enamel, and just because a soda is diet doesn’t make it acid-light. Adults who drink three or more sodas a day have worse dental health, says a University of Michigan analysis of dental checkup data. Soda drinkers had far greater decay, more missing teeth, and more fillings.

Reproductive Issues
Sometimes, the vessel for your beverage is just as harmful. Diet or not, soft drink cans are coated with the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A (BPA), which has been linked to everything from heart disease to obesity to reproductive problems. That’s a lot of risktaking for one can of pop.

Turmeric can help regenerate the liver, groundbreaking new research


Wednesday, October 10, 2012 by: J. D. Heyes

(NaturalNews) Incredible, groundbreaking new research just published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand found that the primary polyphenol in turmeric – curcumin – is able to repair and even regenerate the liver tissues in diabetic rats. Researchers at the Srinakharinwirot University in Bangkok administered curcumin to rats afflicted with diabetes and whose livers demonstrated the characteristic pathology and destruction of tissues and microvasculature. The curcumin was able to trigger a significant reversal of the condition.

“Fascinatingly, liver microvasculature in curcumin treated group developed into regenerate and repair into healthy and normal characteristics,” the research team said, in its findings. “These results optimistically demonstrated the potential use of curcumin as a novel therapeutic agent in liver pathology of diabetic rats.”

The Thai research is just the latest – albeit most promising to date – research showing a treatment link between curcumin and both forms of diabetes, Type I and Type II.

Earlier research reveals similar findings

Researchers, who published their results in the journal Diabetes Care in July, said they discovered that over nine months, a daily dose of curcumin – a compound in curry spice – appeared to prevent new cases of diabetes among people with so-called pre-diabetes, or abnormally high blood sugar levels that could eventually progress into full-blown Type II diabetes, which is also linked to obesity.

That study, which was also Thai-based, followed 240 adults with pre-diabetes who were randomly assigned to either take curcumin capsules or a placebo that looked identical but contained no active ingredient, Reuters reported.

After nine months, 19 of the 116 placebo patients had developed Type II diabetes, compared to none of the 119 patients who took the curcumin.

The researchers, led by Dr. Somlak Chuengsamarn of Srinakharinwirot University in Nakornnayok, Thailand, said their findings were an endorsement.

“Our study showed that the curcumin extract can effectively prevent the prediabetes population from developing type 2 diabetes mellitus,” wrote the research team. “Although we found that the results were quite remarkable, a longer trial may be required to see if the curcumin-treated prediabetes population will eventually develop type 2 diabetes mellitus.”

“Because of its benefits and safety, we propose that curcumin extract may be used for an intervention therapy for the prediabetes population,” the team wrote.

One thing experts agree on is that the concentration of curcumin is not the same in each extract or capsule.

In the July Thai study, participants took six capsules a day containing 250 mg each of “curcuminoids.”

Other health advantages

“Last year, the testing company found that 20 percent of curcumin and turmeric supplements it tested failed the company’s quality review. And the cost of getting the amount of curcumin used in this study would range from 39 cents to $1.50 per day, depending on the supplement used,” Reuters reported.

As for the study’s results, Constance Brown-Riggs, a certified diabetes educator and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, said more research was needed but that what had been discovered thus far “is compelling, and the good news is there seemed to be minimal adverse effects.”

Other health benefits are thought to be linked to this compound, which is one of the most clinically studied ever.

For example, “scientists agree that curcumin may have anti-inflammatory properties and may act as an antioxidant,” says Discovery Health. “Other research is looking into the use of curcumin and turmeric in treating many medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, high cholesterol and osteoarthritis.”

Even if you don’t eat a lot of food from certain cultures that use curry, you have likely eaten something with curcumin. If you’ve had a hot dog with mustard, you have: curcumin gives mustard its distinctive tangy flavor and yellow color.