Taking Care of Blood Pressure & Cholesterol


Blood Pressure & Cholesterol


Healthy Blood Pressure and Cholesterol levels are important for your heart and arteries – if either are high you are at greater risk of having a heart attack or a stroke and are often referred to as the “silent killers” as they rarely have any symptoms. It is thought that 1 in 3 of the population suffer from one or both of these conditions so it is worth getting your readings checked by your GP.

Blood Pressure is a measure of the amount of pressure against the walls of your blood vessels caused by the heart as it pumps oxygenated blood around the organs of your body. The reading varies according to age, emotion and activity. The higher (systolic) reading represents the pressure when the heart is beating whereas the lower (diastolic) represents the pressure when the heart is resting between beats. The medical term for high blood pressure is hypertension and anything over 140/90 is considered high but Doctors prefer us to have a lower reading in the region of 110/70.

Factors that combine to make you more likely to suffer from high blood pressure are poor diet, excess alcohol, too much salt, overweight, lack of exercise, family history, smoking, age and stress so improving any of these could help the situation. Some people find that caffeine raises their blood pressure so it may be worth checking 30 minutes after and considering a swap to caffeine free drinks. If your Blood Pressure is consistently high your GP is likely to recommend medications which can have side effects so it is preferable to look at more natural solutions to the problem.

Beetroot contains high levels of nitrates which help open the blood vessels in the body increasing blood flow and oxygen including to the brain. Research funded by the British Heart Foundation has shown that drinking a glass of beetroot juice daily can reduce blood pressure significantly which could greatly assist those with mild to moderate blood pressure problems. People with severe hypertension should not stop their prescribed medication without consulting their Doctor.

Other supplements used with some success in treating hypertension are Vitamin C, Co Enzyme Q10, Magnesium, Garlic, Hawthorn, Vitamin D, Calcium, and Flaxseed

Cholesterol is a fatty substance which is essential for a healthy nervous system, good digestion and the production of hormones. Your body produces cholesterol and you also get it from your diet, but too much cholesterol in your blood can be dangerous as it builds up on the walls of you blood vessels and leads to narrowing or hardening of your arteries. There are 2 types of cholesterol, LDL (bad) and HDL (Good). There are no symptoms of high cholesterol but a simple blood test will show your overall level of cholesterol. Factors which contribute to high cholesterol include being overweight, family history, insufficient exercise and a high fat diet.

GP’s commonly prescribe cholesterol lowering drugs called statins which slow down the rate that the liver produces cholesterol but these are known to produce unacceptable side effects in many people including muscle pain and weakness. As a result people are keen to identify natural remedies to tackle the problem along with healthier life style and low fat diet. Some people have found that side effects of these drugs are reduced by taking Co Enzyme Q10 plus Magnesium.

Other natural products that have been shown to lower cholesterol in some people are plant sterols, artichoke drops, garlic, Vitamin B3, Chromium, Flaxseed and Soya Products.

Why don’t you try some of products alongside taking regular exercise, a healthier diet and ensuring you have adequate restful sleep each night?