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Lower Blood Pressure

Lower Blood Pressure
January 6, 2011 Patrick Nemechek, D.O.

Weight Loss With A Low Carb Diet Reduces Blood Pressure

A reduction in carbohydrate consumption has been shown to be more effective in lowering blood pressure than eating a low fat diet.

The study compared low a carbohydrate diet with a low fat diet that was combined with a weight loss drug.

The low carbohydrate diet group was much more effective than the low fat diet plus weight loss drug regimen in reducing blood pressure in spite of the fact that both groups had the same amount of weight loss.

Why Does A Low Carb Diet Reduce Your Blood Pressure?

Reducing your carbohydrate intake to less than 100 grams per day will reduce your blood pressure by a variety of mechanisms.

Carbohydrate reduction will reduce  insulin resistance and which can reduce the activation of the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS), cause blood vessel relaxation and dilation by increasing the production of NOS  (nitric oxide) and reverse the abnormal sodium (table salt) retention from the kidneys.

Additionally, a low carbohydrate diet will also lower blood pressure by reducing the amount of fat you have deposited within your abdominal cavity.  This type of fat (referred to as intra-abdominal fat) is different than the fat underneath your skin that you can pinch (subcutaneous fat).

Intra-abdominal fat influences a large amount of chemicals and hormones that can contribute to an elevation in blood pressure.  The following is a list of some of these substances and what they effects are:

  • Reactive oxygen species (ROS) – These compounds can stimulate the SNS and RAS (see below).
  • Endothelin-1 (ET-1) – ET-1 is a potent vasoconstrictor (causes blood vessels to become more narrow and stiffer).
  • Cortisol –¬†In high levels, cortisol can causing sodium (table salt)¬†retention in the body.
  • Leptin –¬†Leptin not only regulates¬†hunger but also stimulates the SNS system and¬†can lead to vasoconstriction through the SNS system.
  • Adiponectin –¬†Low adiponectin levels lead to a decrease in NOS (nitric oxide) levels leading to vasoconstriction.

Lifestyle Changes Needed to Get Off Blood Pressure Medication

So, if you’re hoping to get off your blood pressure medication by changing your lifestyle, these are the things your need to try to do.

  1. Reduce your carbohydrate intake to at least 100 grams of net carbohydrates (grams of total carbs – grams of fiber) per day.
  2. High dose fish oil.  3000 mg twice daily
  3. Eliminate Tobacco
  4. Exercise for an average of 30 minutes every day or 1 hour every other day.
  5. Get plenty of sleep

Doing these few things will slowly but consistently reduce your blood pressure to normal over a few to several months  The blood pressure will start declining within the 1st week or so..

The vast majority of my patients who tired this have been able to completely eliminate their blood pressure medications.

Be patient, it can take a few to several months to see significant results.  But if you stay focused, your blood pressure will not only consistently decrease to normal but you will also feel better than you have in a long time.

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