I recently reviewed a paper written by Dr. Mark Houston, published in the Therapeutic Advances in Cardiovascular Disease. What Dr. Houston was very interesting and worth summarizing for you.
Diet and High Blood Pressure
The poor quality of the typical American diet has lead to rampant nutritional deficiencies related to hypertension, heart disease, atherosclerosis, heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, renal disease, diabetes, and obesity. For individuals with hypertension and cardiovascular disease the nutritional deficiencies can be linked to genetics, environment, and prescription drug. By optimizing the diets nutritional quality to lower blood pressure in the short-term, significant long-term improvements in mortality occur.
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is the result of an interaction between genetics and the environment. Macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, fat) and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals) play a critical role in blood pressure control and the organ damage that occurs in response to high blood pressure. Having an optimal balance of nutrients in your diet has a dramatic impact on preventing and treating high blood pressure. Functional intracellular assessments are recommended for optimal diagnosis and treatment of nutrient deficiencies for effective treatment of high blood pressure.
What is a Functional Intracellular Assessment?
Monitoring serum levels of many nutrients may not reflect an accurate assessment of long term nutritional status. Functional Intracellular Assessment is used for a more accurate measurement of micronutrients, vitamins and minerals within body stores and the functional needs of cells. Single serum measurements provide a "snap shop" of nutritional status within a limited window of time versus an average of the preceding months. One option for a Functional Intracellular Assessment is the Micronutrient Testing provided by SpectraCell Laboratories.
Dr. Mark Houston and The Hypertension Institute in Nashville, TN have studied micronutrient deficiencies and oxidation status in individuals with high blood pressure compared to individuals with normal blood pressure.
Since 2005, 3338 patients at the Hypertension Institute received a Functional Intracellular Assessment. Out of the patients, 671 had high blood pressure (20.1%). Those with high blood pressure when compared to the general population had significantly different micronutrient levels, higher oxidative stress, lower oxidative defense, and an increased incidence of insulin resistance.
Study evaluation revealed significant differences in micronutrient status and oxidation between the two groups. By replacing micronutrient deficiencies, along with high-dose therapy of select nutraceuticals combined with optimal diet, exercise, and weight management, blood pressure reached goal levels in 62% of the individuals with high blood pressure over a 6 month period. This included a tapering and discontinuation of high blood pressure medication.
Also, total antioxidant functional testing (Spectrox) scores for patients with high blood pressure were statistically improved 8.47% on repeat analysis. The program prescribed the DASH 2 Diet, weight management, and combined aerobic and resistance training programs for 60 minutes daily. The successful repletion of micronutrient deficiencies was a major contributor to the program success with greater than >97% repletion upon retesting those in the high blood pressure group.
Dietary and lifestyle treatment to lower blood pressure can take more time (~4-6 months) to produce results when compared to pharmacological treatment options. The Functional Intracellular Assessment should be repeated 4-6 months after the initiation of treatment to evaluate effectiveness.
The findings documented by Dr. Mark Houston explain the impact the nutritional deficiencies have on health care costs related to cardiovascular health and outcomes. By correctly diagnosing and treating nutritional deficiencies and improving oxidation status you will see reduction in blood pressure and improved vascular health. It's estimated that by simply correcting nutritional deficiencies in the treatment of high blood pressure there's an potential savings of ~$10 billion in drug costs. The routine use of Functional Intracellular Assessment when treating those with high blood pressure, followed by proper nutrient replacement and treatment combined with lifestyle modification can dramatically reduce the use of medication and the potential adverse side effects.
Published On: April 19, 2010