Learn more from Dr. Sinatra about how to lower your blood pressure naturally in eight steps,including diet, exercise, and targeted vitamin supplements aimed at helping you lower and manage your blood pressure. Watch the webinar now.
You will learn:
- How to know when to worry about your blood pressure
- The exact combination of foods for optimal blood pressure
- The best and safest forms of exercise to lower blood pressure
- The precise nutritional supplements that have the most benefit for overall heart health
- How to manage your emotions and reduce stress for healthier blood pressure
Watch my WEBINAR now.
Lower Blood Pressure Naturally Transcript
Aaron: [webinar moderator} Welcome to Dr. Stephen Sinatra's webinar on "Eight Steps to Lower Blood Pressure Naturally." The goal of today's webinar is to help you lower and manage your blood pressure through simple lifestyle changes, smart food choices, and targeted nutritional supplements so that you can enjoy optimal heart health, well-being, and longevity.
You can ask a question at any time during this webinar. Just type your question into the "Ask a question" box that appears on the left-hand side of your screen and then hit "submit." Dr. Sinatra will answer as many questions as possible at the end of the presentation. Please note that we will send you all of the materials from today's webinar in an email later. If you have a question that isn't answered today, please feel free to connect with Dr. Sinatra on Facebook, Twitter, or his blog at drsinatra.com. And now, I am very excited and pleased to introduce our presenter, Dr. Stephen Sinatra. Dr. Sinatra is a well-renowned, board certified cardiologist, certified bioenergetics psychotherapist, and certified nutrition and anti-aging specialist. His holistic methods focus on reducing inflammation and maximizing the heart's ability to produce and use energy. Dr. Sinatra takes an integrative approach to heart health and has helped thousands of patients enjoy long, healthy lives with his advice, guidance, and line of highly targeted nutritional supplements for heart health.
Dr. Sinatra: Thanks, Aaron. It's so great to be here, and welcome, everybody. I'm touched that you're listening to this webinar. I hope I can make a difference in your life. You know, blood pressure situations and soaring blood pressure and the treatments for blood pressure, whether they're pharmaceutical or whether they're alternative, it doesn't have to be rocket science. I mean, at times we need pharmaceutical support. I've done it in my own practice. At other times, you can do healthy diet and other interactions or interventions where you can control your blood pressure and support your blood pressure. So today, I'm really excited about introducing to you my pillars of supporting blood pressure, which are: A non-inflammatory diet, exercise, targeted nutritional supports, detoxification, mind-body interactions, and earthing. If you bring those pillars to the table and you follow what I say to you today, I firmly believe, in my own heart, that you can have control over your own life, help support your blood pressure, and help to achieve optimum health.
Blood Pressure: 101
Folks, welcome to nuts and bolts of blood pressure or maybe Blood Pressure 101. Look, what is blood pressure. Well, you know, blood pressure is really the work your heart needs to do. Basically, when your heart squeezes blood through those vessels, you know, it goes into the great aorta and all through the peripheral vessels; you know, that creates a pressure. And if that pressure outside in these long - in the vessels in my arms and in my legs is high, that can cause the heart to grow in size, and doctors call that "LVH." Now, LVH means an increase in the muscle of the heart and that's not a good thing. Now, how is blood pressure measured? Well, we can put a cuff on your arm, you know, feet on the floor, and we measure systolic blood pressure, which, again, is the contraction of the heart, and the diastolic blood pressure, which means it's the resting blood pressure in between cardiac contractions. Now, what's normal? Well, when I was in medical school, you know, more than 40 years ago, we thought if you had a systolic blood pressure less than 138 and a diastolic blood pressure less than 88, that was okay. That doesn't work today, folks. That has no credibility anymore. What we like to see are numbers less than 120 systolic and diastolic 80. In other words, we feel that numbers in that range are really supportive of heart health.
Know Your Blood Pressure Numbers
Now, I have a problem looking at the numbers, you know. Some physicians will treat diastolic alone; however, there's an entity called, you know, "systolic hypertension" that I have concerns about, so I worry if the numbers are high on the systolic side, and, of course, on the diastolic side as well. Now, when do you need to worry? I mean, let's focus on these numbers. I don't like systolic numbers 135 or above, or diastolic numbers 85 and above. I like it lower; I like it lower. Now, why do I like it lower? Well, look, the higher the blood pressure, the more strain it puts on your blood vessels. Let me give you an example. Let's look at the heart, for example, because, you know, I'm a clinical cardiologist. If you look at the heart vessels, there's bends on those heart vessels. I mean, I've done, you know, lots of work on the heart and I've seen lots of pictures of vessels, looking at the heart. Now, on the bends of these blood vessels, if the pressure is higher, it creates a weakening, particularly along those bends of blood vessels. And when you have a weakening at the bend, this can allow toxins to get in, oxidized LDL to get in, insulin to get in, any of these unfriendly, what we call " endothelial components." So, I get really concerned when the pressure is high, because if you're a cigarette smoker or if you have metals in the blood, or whatever toxins in the blood, they're going to get pushed into those vulnerable areas and that can set the stage for inflammation. And we know that inflammation is the root cause of heart disease. Folks, it's not cholesterol, like I talked about in a previous webinar. So, what are my take-aways, folks? Well, look, in a nutshell, lower is better. If you have a blood pressure of 110 over 60, I would love it. I mean, that's a great support of blood pressure and that's what we should strive for.
The Causes of Blood Pressure Issues
So, next, this is what I want to do: I want to talk about the causes of blood pressure. I want to talk about the risk factors and about conventional treatments and alternative treatments.
So, what are the causes and risk factors of blood pressure? Well, when I was in medical school more than 40 years ago, the professors used to talk about benign blood pressure, essential blood pressure and it didn't make any sense. You know, about 10 percent of blood pressure situations that are unhealthy are actually caused by, you know, an overactive thyroid. you know, a blood pressure constriction in the kidney. It can be an overactive adrenal, but 90 percent, and we've only learned this in the last 10 years, folks, 90 percent of blood pressure situations are caused by what we call "an increase in the resistance of blood vessels" that has to do with oxidative stress, free radicals, and a term that doctors use, "endothelial cell unfriendliness." And what this means is that the lining of the blood vessels, if they become inflamed, these blood vessels can constrict or, if we cannot sequester a lot of the free radicals in the body, and if we can't really douse out the fires of inflammation in our blood vessels, the pressure can go up, and we don't want that. So, what are some of these risk factors? Well, certainly emotional stress is a big risk factor for causing the numbers to soar. Overweight status will put higher numbers into your body. I mean, certainly toxins in the environment; insecticides, pesticides, heavy metals, cigarette smoke, for one. Anytime we have thick blood; if our blood is like red ketchup as opposed to red wine, certainly the heart has to work harder and, with inflammation onboard, the numbers will tend to go up. And then we have the insulin resistance syndrome, which is really a problem in
Blood Pressure and Special Considerations
And now let's talk about my special considerations. For example, in African-Americans, more aggressive pharmaceutical support may be needed, particularly diuretics, since in this group, pharmaceutical support seems to have a slight advantage. I would still use alternatives, but, again, pharmaceutical support is, you know, well adapted here. Now, in Hispanics, we need more aggressive dietary support. In other words, we need to alter the diets and the types of foods that Hispanics are eating, because in their particular diet, particularly if they're using a lot of oils and deep-frying, etc., it can cause inflammation. Now, a third group is women. I have special concerns about women because of not only what's been in the literature and what panels have discussed, but basically it's the anatomy of a woman. You know, a woman's heart is smaller than a man's, and the blood vessels that surround the heart are smaller. So, when a woman develops higher blood pressure numbers, she may have more what we call "problems" in what we call "the left ventricle," and we call this a "problem of compliance" where the left ventricle of the heart has difficulty filling with blood. It's a little bit more stiff. And there might be an anatomical concern here, again, because of the smaller nature of the blood vessels.
Women and Blood Pressure
Now, there was a panel of some of the top cardiovascular experts in the country and they were looking at the ten top issues affecting women. And I believe issue number seven was this very thing that we call "diastolic dysfunction." And what it means is that when the heart is filling with blood, because the left ventricle or the muscle may be a little stiffer, the heart struggles a little bit with filling with blood and the heart needs more energy. So, what can happen in a little bit of older women, and men as well, but it affects women more than men, particularly over the age of 45, is that the diastolic dysfunction can become moderate to severe and some of these people will get shortness of breath. And even though it's been in JAMA, the Archives of Internal Medicine, and other journals, the problem is there are no pharmaceutical drugs that treat diastolic dysfunction. And the authors would continuously say, "This is a problem, particularly in women, but we have no drugs that treat it, so what can we do?" Well, there's a Sinatra solution to this. This is where pharmaceutical drugs don't do their jobs, folks. What you need to do here is you need to increase energy into the filling of blood into the left ventricle and that requires energy substrates, and that's the Sinatra Solution: The Awesome Foursome. That's metabolic cardiology at its best. And what metabolic cardiology does, it literally supports the energy of ATP, and when you do that, you're supporting heart function.
Targeted Supplements to Help Lower Blood Pressure
Well, my take-aways here are that diastolic dysfunction is a serious problem affecting large segments of the population, particularly women. We need to bring energy support to the heart. We need to give the awesome foursome and that includes coenzyme Q10, magnesium, ribose, and L-carnitine. So, if you're a woman and you have a little shortness of breath and your blood pressure numbers are a little bit rising and you see your doctor, ask him to do an echocardiogram to make sure that you don't have diastolic dysfunction of the heart.
The Role of Conventional Pharmaceuticals and Blood Pressure
So, what are some the treatments of blood pressure? Well, certainly there's conventional and then there's alternative. Let's start with the conventional. Look, folks, if your numbers are high, and let's use 140 over 90 as an example. You're in that area and you go to your physician and your physician, you know, wants to use pharmaceutical intervention, I don't have a problem with that, but you will be using lifestyle interventions at the same time. Now, if your physician chooses to use calcium channel blockers, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors; you know, whatever your physician, he or she, wants, I'm fine with that. Now, in the process of doing workup on blood pressure, if your physician finds that you have kidney impairment, you must take pharmaceutical drugs. That's the greatest advantage of pharmaceutical drugs is in preserving the kidney. So, I wear my conventional hat. Now, the problem with pharmaceuticals, they have a light side, but they have a dark side. I mean, you know, beta blockers have their baggage, so do calcium channel blockers, so has ACE inhibitors. But I'm sure with working with your physician you can find a pharmaceutical drug that suits you.
Alternative Treatments and Blood Pressure
Now, what are some of the alternative treatments? Well, there's a whole host of alternative treatments. I mean, I've used nattokinase, magnesium, potassium, coenzyme Q10. I mean, Omega-3 fatty acids, grapeseed extract,Vitamin C. I mean, I've used them all in my treatment of blood pressure. In other words, I'll use them in supporting blood pressure. And lots of times these treatments actually do support blood pressure, and there are great clinical studies. For example, there's a superb study on coenzyme Q10 supporting blood pressure and actually driving numbers in the right direction.
So, alternative situations can be utilized. Again, we would use targeted nutritional supplements with weight loss, with lifestyle changes, stress reduction; all these interventions that calm the autonomic nervous system. We're even doing a study on grounding, for example, and blood pressure support. So, there's lots of situations you can bring to the table that really support blood pressure. So, what are my take-aways here? I know this is a complex situation, but I'm going to leave you three easy things: Reduce weight, consult your doctor if your numbers are approaching 138 over 88 or more. If you're a smoker, please stop because smoking causes constriction of blood vessels; there's also that nicotine effect. Reduce carbs in support of insulin, because if you have insulin surges and you're eating a lot of carbohydrates and a lot of sugars, this is going to cause inflammation and endothelial cell unfriendliness of the blood vessels, which can cause numbers to soar. So, those are my three take-aways.
Dr. Sinatra's Eight-Step Program to Lower Blood Pressure Naturally
So let's talk about my eight step program to support blood pressure naturally. Well, at the top of the list, folks, is the Mediterranean Pan-Asian diet. I've written about these diets for years in my books. What's so special about these diets? Well, first of all, they bring non-inflammatory foods to the table, such as, I can say, garlic and onions, olive oil, natto, sardines. I mean, the list goes on and on. But these foods are key, because, first of all, if we look at sardines, I'm just going to give you an example, sardines that have peptides that promote blood pressure support. So does wakame seaweed. And there was a phenomenal study, the study that came out of Spain, only recently reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that showed that olive oil not only supports the insulin resistance syndrome, people lose weight and blood pressure support is realized as well. It's absolutely phenomenal. In fact, I am so bullish on olive oil, and some of the recent data shows that it downgrades inflammatory genes in addition to being one of most endothelial friendly components you can take into the diet. So, olive oil is key. Now, these foods collectively actually reduce inflammation. The other thing is you want to eat more fats, healthy fats. Healthy fats certainly bring a lot to the table because you don't get an insulin response, particularly if you're eating avocado or olive oil, which have monounsaturated fats. These fats do not put an energy drain on your pancreas. Now, Omega-3 fats, both cultures eat a lot of fish. You know, fish contain Omega-3's. Certainly squid contains Omega-3's. You know, if you're a vegetarian, you can get it from chia seed, flaxseed, even tofu, but Omega-3's actually promote blood pressure support as well. So, these foods are key and they need to be incorporated into the diet.
The Role of Salt and Sodium in Blood Pressure
Now, what about salt and sodium? Well, there's a lot of controversy about this. You know, the sodium that's in processed foods or in fast foods; for example, a flame-broiled chicken at a fast food restaurant, you can get, like, 1300 milligrams of sodium. If you have a dill pickle, throw in another 1,000. If you have French fries, throw in another 700 or 800 milligrams. Now you're up to over 3 1/2 grams a day. That's a little bit too much sodium if you're dealing with, you know, blood pressure issues. However, the converse of a very low sodium diet, less than 1.8 grams, also can be a disaster. So, sodium has a sweet point. You don't want too much and you don't want too little, because if you have too little, you can get hormonal relationships in the kidney that can cause blood pressure to really go even higher. So, talk to your doctor, but I would say, and what I recommend, is I like a diet of not the sodium preservatives, but if you want to pinch a little sea salt or Himalayan salt on your food, I'm fine with that. Just avoid the foods, the processed foods, like canned soups, you know, particularly dry soups and, you know, all these different foods that have a lot of sodium. Read labels. In other words, you want to have a label that shows more potassium, which supports blood pressure, as opposed to sodium, which can raise blood pressure, particularly if you go over, you know, 3 1/2 to 4 grams.
The Role of Juices in Blood Pressure
Now, another consideration are juices. People think fruit juices are healthy. They're really not; they contain a lot of sugar unless if you make your own juices. You know, if you juice, you know, with fresh fruits and vegetables, I've got no problem with that. But if you're buying these conventional sugary juices, they're out. Sodas are out, because too much sugar can drive hormonal relationships in the direction of inflammation and then that can cause, you know, constriction, inflammation of the body, oxidative stress, and we don't want that, you know, in a blood pressure situation.
Alcohol? I'm a little more neutral here, you know, neutral-positive. If you can want a glass of wine, in the Mediterranean studies, in the [Spanish] studies, they had one glass of wine a day. I have no problem with that. Just remember, when it comes to alcohol, less is more. So, what are my take-aways on diet? A non-inflammatory diet, folks; that is so key. Lessen carbohydrate intake, cut out sugars; very, very crucial. Eat particular foods that support blood pressure, and avoid the sugars.
Exercise and Blood Pressure
So, let's talk about movement and exercise. You know, a lot of folks out there, you know, may think that's a bad word, but it's not. Look, I'm not talking about pumping iron. I'm not talking about going to the gym; I'm not talking about jogging. I'm talking about just bringing some movement into your life. Let's face it, go walking. Take some dancing lessons. Go for a swim. Any of those aerobic activities support blood pressure, and the way it does it, especially if you do it for longer periods of time, is that in the resting phases, after forms of, let's say, suppose you walked for 45 minutes to an hour, or suppose you went swimming, you know, in a pond for a half hour or 15 minutes or so, or suppose you were dancing and at the end of a night of dancing, ballroom dancing, any form of dancing, and you're resting and if you have a little sweat doing on, what happens is you get vasodilation and numbers get lower and this supports blood pressure. That's the physiology behind exercise and blood pressure support. So, when it comes to lowering numbers, when it comes to blood pressure support, if you're sedentary, it's going to be harder. So, my take-away in this segment - exercise; move your body. Get out there and have some fun.
The Best Targeted Supplements to Help Lower Blood Pressure
Let's talk about targeted nutritional supports. First of all, there is nothing better than a non-inflammatory diet, an endorsed diet, and it's crucial. However, even the best diets are going to be lacking in targeted nutritional supports. Let me give you an example. Look at the Pan-Asian diet, especially if you're a vegetarian. If you're a pure vegetarian, you're going to get lots of minerals. You're going to get lots of fiber. This is all great, but you're not going to get co-enzyme Q10 in a pure vegan, vegetarian diet. It's just not going to happen, so you need to supplement. Now, why take targeted nutritional supplements? Well, first of all, when we talk about blood pressure, we need to bring oxidative stress to the table. We know that free radicals, oxidative stress, and inflammation are sort of the "sinequenon" for blood pressure situations. So, how do we reduce oxidative stress? How do we reduce free radicals? Well, diet's a good place to start, but it's not going to give us everything. This is what I like for blood pressure support. I like coenzyme Q10. There's great studies to show that coenzyme Q10, because it reduces oxidative stress and free radicals, it supports blood pressure. Vitamin C, like grapeseed extract, can support nitric oxide, and when that occurs, basically you get a little more vasodilation and blood pressure support is realized. Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for blood pressure support because it has this endothelial-cell friendly situation in the lining of the blood vessels. It supports the lining and it reduces the impact of vasoconstriction, so I love magnesium. Now, potassium is taken in supplements. I've seen in some supplements where they give 100 milligrams, up to 500 milligrams. We need potassium. Potassium is the most supportive mineral for the heart. Potassium is crucial. The problem today is that most of our foods are fortified with sodium and you need more potassium in the diet. Unfortunately, a lot of us don't get it in the diet, so we like to supplement with at least, you know, 100 to 500 milligrams. You know, a small banana is basically about 600 milligrams. Now, resveratrol is important because studies have shown some vasodilation. We call it "forward medial dilation" when they do studies in the brachial artery. And resveratrol, again, it has this nice endothelial-friendly component where it supports blood pressure. I also like hawthorn berry. Hawthorn berry, like garlic, and garlic can also be taken as a supplement, actually has what we call an "ACE-inhibiting" effect. In other words, they work on hormonal interactions in the lung, and basically they can support blood pressure as well. So, even if you eat the best non-inflammatory diet, you must, and I want to emphasize you must, bring some targeted nutraceuticals to the table.
Key Take-aways on Blood Pressure
What are my take-aways? Well, certainly eat a non-inflammatory diet, take some coenzyme Q10, Vitamin C, magnesium, potassium. Consider resveratrol. Strongly consider grapeseed and strongly consider hawthorn berry.