by Ross Walker

Hypertension is the medical name for “high blood pressure” and does not actually refer to excessive stress, as the name implies. Hypertension is defined as a blood pressure consistently greater than 135/85 and should never be diagnosed on a one-off reading, especially in a stressful situation such as waiting in a doctor’s surgery to be seen. It is an incredibly common condition estimated to effect around a quarter of the world’s adult population. 

Over 90 per cent of high blood pressure is due to a combination of a person’s own inherent genetic makeup along with being exposed to the vast array of modern toxins but especially salt, alcohol and stress. Combine these factors with sedentary jobs and lack of exercise, certainly explains why so many people are suffering from high blood pressure.

Untreated high blood pressure is closely associated with all forms of cardiovascular disease including heart attack, angina and sudden death but is most closely linked to stroke and cerebral haemorrhage. 

High blood pressure is the most important cardiovascular risk factor, and this is despite the fact that cholesterol has gained so much more press. Over the age of fifty, I would estimate that high blood pressure is over ten times more important than cholesterol as a risk for heart disease. 

Before commencing pills for high blood pressure, there are a number of strategies that may lower your blood pressure back to normal levels. First and most importantly, is to lose weight. The loss of five to ten kilos or more can have a significant impact on blood pressure levels. 

Secondly, independently of weight loss, three to five hours of exercise per week can also help reduce blood pressure. 

Thirdly and very importantly is to markedly reduce your salt intake. Any type of salt, regardless of the fancy names attached such as Himalayan salt or Celtic Sea Salt is still sodium chloride and still puts up your blood pressure. Avoid using a salt shaker, salt in food and salty foods. Unfortunately 80% of our salt intake comes from processed packaged foods, where we have no control over the salt content.  

The fourth strategy here, is to keep your alcohol down to low levels. Finally stress management is a great technique to reduce blood pressure. 

After these lifestyle strategies have been implemented, the use of two natural supplements in the form of BergaMet Mega 650mg/1 tablet twice a day. BergaMet Mega comes from bergamot oranges grown on the southern Ionic strip of Calabria in Italy. BergaMet Mega has been shown to affect all parameters of metabolic syndrome, change small dense LDL to the healthier large buoyant LDL. Sometimes you may see a reduction in cholesterol but typically you will see a reduction in triglycerides and an elevation in HDL, indicating a shift to the healthier LDL pattern. I also presented a paper at the Australian Cardiac Society meeting in 2012 demonstrating that BergaMet acts synergistically with statins to maintain cholesterol levels at half the standard prescribed dose of statin therapy. Kyolic High Potency Aged Garlic Extract in a dose of two capsules in the morning can have a significant impact on reducing blood pressure. 

Finally, a major precipitating factor with high blood pressure is sleep apnoea. If you wake feeling unrefreshed, become tired during the day and also have been accused of being a heavy snorer, it is likely that sleep apnoea is contributing to your blood pressure. 

In my next article, I will talk about two exciting new techniques that have been developed to treat high blood pressure.