Journal of Immunity

Vol 5 No 3 Third Quarter 2007

Salt consumption is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease affecting over 65 million Americans

Hypertension - the Silent Killer

Conrad LeBeau

Hypertension, also called high blood pressure, has been called the silent killer as there are no obvious symptoms. Millions of people with obesity, type II diabetes, cancer, immune dysfunction and most other health related conditions have been and continue to be affected by hypertension and other factors that cause heart and circulatory illness. In persons with HIV on protease inhibitors and some other regimens, heart attacks caused by elevated blood pressure, elevated LDL cholesterol, low HDL and elevated triglycerides happen too frequently. Heart and circulatory disease have been and continue to be the leading cause of death in America. As Americans continue to get fatter, heart disease, high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, and elevated blood sugar levels known as Type II diabetes, continue to rob people of both a quality and longer life.

My interest in hypertension became very personal this past summer when I tested myself in a public place and found I had hypertension (high blood pressure), type II, with a reading of 178 over 98. At age 63, I found myself in league with over 60% of the elderly population over 60 that also have hypertension. Long term hypertension can damage the lungs, heart, kidneys and even the eyes and may cause strokes.

Tens of millions are taking various drugs to cope with hypertension. Many of these drugs also have side effects and some may even contribute to heart attacks.

Self-testing for hypertension

It is a very wise investment for anyone with hypertension to purchase a device for measuring blood pressure and another to measure blood sugar levels. For less than $100, you can have two of the most important diagnostic instruments on the market. You can find these instruments in local drug stores or through mail order pharmacies.

In the United States, nearly1 in 4 people live with hypertension and this includes over 1 million children. Tens of millions are also affected with elevated blood sugar. Researchers have established a clear link between elevated blood sugar and hypertension in 75% of the cases studied. Testing is the only way to know for certain where your health status stands in both of these critical areas.

Some facts about Hypertension

The following information is reprinted from hypertension.com

What is Hypertension and What are the Common Symptoms ?

Definitions of blood pressure numbers - Systolic pressure is the force of blood in the arteries as the heart beats. It is shown as the top number in a blood pressure reading. Diastolic pressure is the force of blood in the arteries as the heart relaxes between beats. It's shown as the bottom number in a blood pressure reading.

Basically hypertension is high blood pressure that is above normal levels consistently for more than about 6 months. Common symptoms of hypertension are listed below, these are often varied and difficult to diagnose.

The only real way to know if you have hypertension is to have your blood pressure checked, most doctors do this as part of a normal examination.

Blood Pressure Levels above 140/90 are considered 'high'. Systolic is the top number. Diastolic is the bottom number.

Hypertension puts a strain on the heart by increasing its need for oxygen making it work harder than normal. Over time, this causes the walls of the arteries to harden. Hypertension is a major health problem, especially because it has no obvious symptoms. Many people have hypertension without showing any obvious symptoms. If you do not know your blood pressure, you should have it taken.

People with high blood pressure often do not feel sick. In fact, hypertension is often called "the silent killer," because it may cause no symptoms at all for a long time. Your organs and tissues can be damaged by hypertension without you knowing or feeling any 'external' symptoms.

If you have hypertension, then you will have a higher risk for heart disease and other medical problems than people with normal blood pressure. Serious complications can be avoided by getting regular blood pressure checks and treating hypertension as soon as it is diagnosed.

Hypertension is more common in men than women and it's also more common in people over the age of 65 than it is in younger people. Also, hypertension can run in families, and you are more likely to be affected if your close relatives have the condition.

There are two main types of hypertension. If you have hypertension and have no easily identifiable cause you're considered to have primary essential hypertension, while if you have a specific gene or organ directly responsible for your hypertension then you have a secondary hypertension.

The most serious type of hypertension is called Malignant hypertension. This is a particularly severe form of high blood pressure where the pressure level is at least 210/120 mm Hg. It occurs in only about 1 of 200 people who have high blood pressure. This type of hypertension is several times more common among blacks than among whites, among men than among women, and among people in poorer economic groups. Malignant hypertension may produce a variety of severe symptoms. If untreated, malignant hypertension usually leads to death in 3 to 6 months.

What are the common symptoms of hypertension?

Most people with primary hypertension don't have any obvious symptoms at all, also the possible symptoms of hypertension vary quite a lot from person to person. These symptoms could also be symptoms of other health problems, however here are a few of the more common symptoms of hypertension to look out for.

  • 1 One of the symptoms of hypertension is chronic headaches. When you get chronic headaches that last for days (rather than hours) you should immediately see a doctor and get your blood pressure checked.
  • 2 Dizziness or Vertigo
  • 3 Blurry or double vision.
  • 4 Drowsiness
  • 5 Nausea
  • 6 Shortness of breath. Usually when this occurs people start to get a little concerned. Often by this time though the blood pressure has probably reached high enough levels to be dangerous as this is one of the last symptoms of hypertension you'll experience.
  • 7. Heart palpitations
  • 8. Fatigue - general tiredness
  • 9. A flushed face
  • 10. Nosebleeds
  • 11. A strong need to urinate often (especially during the night)
  • 12 Tinnitus (a ringing or buzzing in the ears)
  • Note: A strong intolerance of hot weather is another sign of hypertension. Failure to consume adequate amounts of water and lack of an ability to sweat can lead to heat stroke.

    If you have any combination of these symptoms, then you should get your blood pressure checked by a doctor or examine it yourself with your own tester.

    Secondary hypertension

    If you have hypertension that is caused by another medical condition, it is called secondary hypertension. This can be caused by many different illnesses. People with kidney disorders often have secondary hypertension. This is because the kidneys regulate the balance of salt and water in the body. If your kidneys cannot get rid of excess salt and water from the body, your blood pressure goes up. Kidney infections, a narrowing of the arteries that carry blood to the kidneys, and other kidney disorders can disturb the salt and water balance. Kidney problems are by no means the only medical condition that can cause secondary hypertension, there many other conditions the 'side' effects of which can cause hypertension. More info is on the 'causes of hypertension page'

    HEALTH FACTS - People with uncontrolled high blood pressure / hypertension are:

    Three times more likely than people with normal blood pressure to develop coronary heart disease and are six times more likely to develop congestive heart failure.

    They are seven times more likely to have a stroke.

    Dietary salt intake and hypertension in an urban south Indian population

    Radhika G, Sathya RM, Sudha V, Ganesan A, Mohan V

    J Assoc Physicians India. 2007 Jun;55:405-11.

    Madras Diabetes Research Foundation and Dr. Mohan's Diabetes Specialities Centre, Gopalapuram, Chennai, India.

    OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to determine the mean dietary salt intake in urban south India and to look at its association with hypertension.

    RESULTS: Mean dietary salt intake (8.5 g/d) in the population was higher than the recommended by the World Health Organization (< 5g/d). Higher salt intake was associated with older age and higher income (p for trend < 0.0001). Subjects in the highest quintile of salt intake had significantly higher prevalence of hypertension than did those in the lowest quintile (48.4 vs 16.6%, p < 0.0001). Both systolic and diastolic blood pressure significantly increased with increase in quintiles of total dietary salt both among hypertensive and normotensive subjects (p for trend p < 0.0001).

    Addition of salt - 1 teaspoon/day at the dining table was associated with a higher prevalence for hypertension compared to zero added salt (38.5% vs 23.3%, Chi-square = 18.95; p < 0.0001). Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that even after adjusting for age, gender, body mass index, total energy intake and dietary fat, total dietary salt intake was positively associated with hypertension. [Odds ratio (OR): 1.161, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.115-1.209, p < 0.0001].

    CONCLUSION: Intake of dietary salt in urban south India is higher than currently recommended. Increasing salt intake is associated with increased risk for hypertension even after adjusting for potential confounders. This calls for urgent steps to decrease salt consumption of the population at high risk.

    Salt, blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

    He FJ, MacGregor GA.

    Curr Opin Cardiol. 2007 Jul;22(4):298-305.

    Blood Pressure Unit, Cardiac and Vascular Sciences, St George's University of London, London, UK.

    PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To review the evidence that relates salt intake to blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. RECENT FINDINGS: Raised blood pressure throughout the range seen in developed countries is the major cause of cardiovascular disease, responsible for 62% of strokes and 49% of coronary heart disease. There is overwhelming evidence that dietary salt is a major cause of raised blood pressure, and a modest reduction in salt intake lowers blood pressure, which is predicted to reduce cardiovascular disease.

    Several lines of evidence including ecological, population and prospective cohort studies, as well as follow-up studies of individuals who participated in short-term salt reduction trials, have consistently shown a direct relation between salt intake and cardiovascular risk, and a reduction in population salt intake is associated with a reduction in cardiovascular mortality in the population.

    Salt and blood pressure in children and adolescents.

    He FJ, Marrero NM, Macgregor GA.

    J Hum Hypertens. 2007 Sep 6; [Epub ahead of print]

    Blood Pressure Unit, Cardiac and Vascular Sciences, St George's University of London, London, UK.

    To study the relationship between salt intake and blood pressure in children and adolescents, we analysed the data of a large cross-sectional study (the National Diet and Nutrition Survey for young people), which was carried out in Great Britain in 1997 in a nationally representative sample of children aged between 4 and 18 years. A total of 1658 participants had both salt intake and blood pressure recorded. Salt intake was assessed by a 7-day dietary record.

    The average salt intake, which did not include salt added in cooking or at the table, was 4.7+/-0.2 g/day at the age of 4 years. With increasing age, there was an increase in salt intake, and by the age of 18 years, salt intake was 6.8+/-0.2 g/day. There was a significant association of salt intake with systolic blood pressure as well as with pulse pressure after adjusting for age, sex, body mass index and dietary potassium intake. An increase of 1 g/day in salt intake was related to an increase of 0.4 mm Hg in systolic and 0.6 mm Hg in pulse pressure. The magnitude of the association with systolic blood pressure is very similar to that observed in a recent meta-analysis of controlled trials where salt intake was reduced. The consistent finding of our present analysis of a random sample of free-living individuals with that from controlled salt reduction trials provides further support for a reduction in salt intake in children and adolescents.

    Magnesium metabolism in hypertension and type 2 diabetes

    Barbagallo M, Dominguez LJ, Resnick LM.

    Am J Ther. 2007 Jul-Aug;14(4):375-85.

    Institute of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, University of Palermo, Italy. mabar@unipa.it

    The increasing evidence for the clinical relevance of altered magnesium metabolism to states of altered insulin resistance confirms the role of magnesium deficit as a possible underlying common mechanism of the "insulin resistance" of hypertension and altered glucose tolerance.

    The pioneer work of Lawrence M. Resnick and his group using the cellular ion-based approach that we are only partially presenting here has consistently contributed to the progress of the field, demonstrating (a) the critical importance of magnesium metabolism in regulating insulin sensitivity as well as vascular tone, and blood-pressure homeostasis; (b) that magnesium deficiency, defined on the basis of intracellular free magnesium levels, and or serum ionized magnesium is a common feature of both diabetic and hypertensive states as well as various other cardiovascular and metabolic processes and aging; (c) the ability of environmental factors such as dietary nutrient-sugar and mineral content to alter the set point of steady-state cell ion activity; and (d) that magnesium supplementation is indicated in conditions associated with magnesium deficit although well-designed therapeutic trials of magnesium in essential hypertension and type 2 diabetes mellitus are needed in the near future.

    Half a heart at 72 - The story of Bob

    Bob is a maintenance man in an office building here in West Allis. About 4 years ago after eating several pieces of pizza that contained significant amounts of sodium, Bob had a heart attack. He said: "no one told me that eating foods high in salt can trigger a heart attack." When bob was recovering in the hospital from his near death experience, his doctor told him: "Welcome to the world of heart failure." The doctor found that only half of Bob's heart was working; the other half was clinically dead tissue.

    Some time later, a friend gave him a copy of Donald Gazzaniga' book called "No Salt Lowest Sodium Cookbook." In the book, a Cardiologist described how the author and several other patients he knew who were on a waiting list for a heart transplant were taken off the list after their heart function recovered following a very low sodium diet. Donald Gazzinga was one of those persons.

    Bob himself told me that he has to keep his sodium intake below 500 mg daily or he goes into cardiac failure. His lungs will began to fill up with water and fluid if his sodium intake is greater than 500 mg daily. Other than having to follow a strict low sodium diet, you would not know there was anything wrong with him.

    Salt kills 38 yr old man

    Bob also told me about a 38 yr old man who ate salt tablets like candy during the summer and died of a fatal heart attack at age 38. The man worked at the same factory that Bob was employed at about 3 years ago. Bob had warned him that he was poisoning himself with these salt tablets. The man shrugged the advice off and said:" it's just salt."

    Bob states that eating in restaurants lead to a fatal heart attack for his uncle

    Realizing that most meals prepared in restaurants contain anywhere from 2000 to 5000 mg of sodium from added salt, Bob warned his uncle who had hypertension to stay out of the restaurants. His uncle's reply:" I enjoy eating in restaurants too much to give it up. When my ticker acts up, I go to the Doctor and he fixes it." A few months later, Bob's uncle died from a fatal heart attack even though he had been taking his blood pressure medication daily. Bob blamed the pizza, ham, cured meats and other processed foods he ate daily for his demise. The lesson here is that high sodium diets can cause heart disease, usually congestive heart failure, even when people take their blood pressure medication and have normal blood pressure.

    The heart failure is caused when high sodium levels increase aldehyde toxins that impair ATP production and oxygen utilization at the cellular level. Combining high aldehyde conjugates with high levels of free radicals and you have a combination for cell death. Lowering aldehyde toxins requires a low sodium diet first and foremost, avoiding dietary supplements and processed foods with added iron that causes free radical formation. Increasing the antioxidant, glutathione, is critical. This can be helped by supplementing the daily diet with N'Acetyl Cysteine (NAC), alpha lipoic acid (ALA) and drinking alcohol in moderation. (1 oz daily).

    A report from the late 1970's.

    C. LeBeau. Sometime in the 1970's I was cleaning carpets for a living and met a customer who told me an unusual story. She said that she had had a heart attack some 20 years ago and had not had a reoccurrence. I noted how well she was doing and I inquired as to what she had done to maintain her health for the past 20 years and prevent a 2nd heart attack. She told me she had been following a low sodium diet for the past 20 years. I said: "interesting." At the time I was not aware of just how important a piece of information she had given me.

    When you consider how many millions of people are taking blood pressure medication and have normal blood pressure readings but still end up with congestive heart failure, you realize that there is more to preventing cardiovascular disease then just taking blood pressure medication and an aspirin a day, although these are very important. One major factor is a life style change that reduces consumption of the toxin, sodium chloride, in the daily diet.


    For an excellent article on sodium and hypertension go to Linus Pauling Institute

    Nutrient interactions and hypertension

    (the DASH trials)

    A multi-center, randomized feeding study, called the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) trial, demonstrated that a diet emphasizing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish, nuts, and low-fat dairy products substantially lowered blood pressure in hypertensive (11.4/5.5 mm Hg) and normotensive people (3.5/2.1 mm Hg) compared to a typical U.S. diet (32). Among other nutrients, the DASH diet was markedly higher in potassium and calcium than the typical U.S. diet. However, sodium levels were kept constant throughout the study in order to better evaluate the effects of other dietary components.

    More recently the DASH-sodium trial compared the DASH diet with a typical U.S. (control) diet at three levels of salt intake: low; 2.9 grams/day, medium; 5.8 grams/day (recommended by U.S. dietary guidelines), and high; 8.7 grams/day (typical U.S. intake) (33). The DASH diet significantly lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressures in hypertensive and normotensive people at each level of salt intake compared to the control diet. Reduction of salt intake resulted in an additional lowering of systolic and diastolic blood pressures in both diets.

    The combination of the DASH diet and reduced salt intake lowered blood pressure more than either intervention alone. Compared to the high-salt control diet, average blood pressure on the low-sodium DASH diet was decreased 8.9/4.5 mm Hg. The effect of salt reduction was greater in the control diet than in the DASH diet, suggesting that salt reduction may be more beneficial in those who consume typical U.S. diets. The DASH trials support the idea that healthful dietary patterns offer an effective approach to the prevention and treatment of hypertension (34). More information about the DASH diet is available from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Web site.

    The National High Blood Pressure Education Program and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the NIH recommend consuming no more than 6 grams/day of salt (35), and the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine recently recommended that adults consume no more than 5.8 grams/day of salt (5) (see Safety). For more information regarding the U.S. dietary guidelines for salt intake, a statement from the National High Blood Pressure Education Program and a summary of the findings of a National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute workshop on sodium and blood pressure are available online.

    (Sodium/salt) Toxicity

    Excessive intakes of sodium chloride lead to an increase in extracellular fluid volume as water is pulled from cells to maintain normal sodium concentrations. However, as long as water needs can be met, normally functioning kidneys can excrete the excess sodium and restore the system to normal (35). Ingestion of large amounts of salt may lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps (36). In end-stage renal failure (kidney failure), impaired urinary sodium excretion may lead to fluid retention, resulting in edema, high blood pressure, or congestive heart failure if salt and water intake are not restricted (2, 37).

    Adverse effects

    In 2004, the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine established an upper level (UL) of sodium intake of 2.3 grams/day for adults based on the adverse effects of high sodium intakes on blood pressure, a major risk factor for cardiovascular and kidney diseases (5). It should be noted that the UL for sodium may be lower for those who are most sensitive to the blood pressure effects of sodium, including the elderly, African Americans, and individuals with hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.

    Linus Pauling Institute Recommendation

    There is consistent evidence that diets high in potassium and relatively low in salt are associated with decreased risk of high blood pressure and its associated risks of cardiovascular and kidney diseases. Moreover, the DASH trial demonstrated that a diet emphasizing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and low-fat dairy products substantially lowered blood pressure, an effect that was enhanced by reducing salt intake.

    Adults over the age of 65

    Diets rich in potassium (at least 4.7 grams/day) and low in salt are likely to be of particular benefit for older adults, who are at increased risk of high blood pressure along with its associated risks of cardiovascular and kidney diseases. Since sensitivity to the blood pressure-raising effects of salt increases with age, older adults may benefit even more than younger adults from consuming diets that are low in salt and high in potassium.

    Treatments for High blood Pressure

    While there is a wide range of drugs to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), the following excerpts indicate there are natural substances that can also normalize the conditions that cause high blood pressure (HBP), especially due to high sodium intake.

    In addition to reducing sodium intake to 1000 mg a day or less, some substances that counter the adverse effects of a high sodium diet include 1. Gamma interferon, 2. Alpha Lipoic Acid, 3. Low daily alcohol consumption. In addition, a vegetarian diet or one high in raw vegetables and fruits with fish or meat once a day only in the evening meal is the best course. Among fruits, Passion fruit juice or pulp has unidentified substances in it that quickly and dramatically lower blood pressure. Other foods that help lower blood pressure are blue-green algae (Klammath Falls), fish, garlic, cayenne, hyssop, evening primrose oil and dark chocolate to name a few.

    Foods to avoid: Besides salt, eggs and meat, cured meats like ham and sausage, will raise blood pressure in salt sensitive persons to dangerous levels. Eggs and bacon for breakfast need to be avoided completely until blood pressure is normal, after which you may have try these foods once a week while monitoring their effects.

    I personally found that when blood pressure is back to normal and I eat eggs or increase my sodium intake, it takes about 5 days and then I will see a significant increase in blood pressure. It also takes another 4 or 5 days after eliminating salt. eggs and meat from my diet to see my blood pressure return to a normal range like 120/80 or close to these numbers.

    In an article titled "Interferon gamma (IgA) attenuates hypertensive renal injury in salt-sensitive Dahl rats" by Ishimitsu T. et al (1), they report that gamma interferon reduced blood pressure in salt-sensitive Dahl rats but not spontaneously hypertensive rats. In the salt-sensitive rats, gamma interferon lowered blood pressure and improved kidney (renal) function. The authors stated: "interferon gamma ameliorates the development of hypertension and vascular and renal injuries in Dahl salt-sensitive rats" and that this in part may be due to "the antihypersensitive action of interferon gamma."

    Earlier we published research that found that Thyroxine, a T3 hormone produced by the thyroid gland, is a strong inducer of IgA. Some persons with hypothyroidism might lose this protection against hypertension with lower levels of T3, the active form of Thyroxine. Researchers have also found that Bee Propolis, Reishi mushrooms and the probiotic B Longum also increase IgA levels.

    Alpha Lipoic Acid: Vasdev S. et al write that "Dietary lipoic acid supplementation attenuates hypertension in Dahl salt sensitive rats."(2) Vasdev states that "There is strong evidence that excess dietary salt (Nacl) is a major factor contributing to the development of hypertension. Salt sensitive humans and rats develop hypertension even on a normal salt diet. Salt sensitivity is associated with glucose intolerance and insulin resistance in both humans and animal models, including Dahl salt sensitive rats. In insulin resistance, impaired glucose metabolism leads to elevated endogenous aldehydes. These aldehydes bind sulfhydryl groups of membrane proteins, altering calcium channels, increasing free calcium and blood pressure. Treatment with lipoic acid, an endogenous sulfur-containing fatty acid, normalizes insulin resistance and lowers aldehyde conjugates .and blood pressure in spontaneously hypersensitive rats."

    Vasdev divided the Dahl salt sensitive rats into 3 groups. One group was placed on a low salt diet, one a normal salt diet and one on normal salt diet plus lipoic acid. The group that was on a normal salt diet had systolic hypertension compared to the low salt group while the group taking lipoic acid along with a normal salt diet did not have an increase in systolic blood pressure.

    Another article by Vasdev et al reports that "Low ethanol intake prevents salt-induced hypertension in WKY rats." (3)

    Vasdev states: "Low alcohol intake in humans lowers the risk of coronary heart disease and may lower blood pressure. In hypertension, insulin resistance with altered glucose metabolism leads to increased formation of aldehydes. We have shown that chronic low alcohol intake decreased systolic blood pressure (SBP) and tissue aldehyde conjugates and hypertension in salt-induced hypertension WKY rats."

    The study also found that ethanol supplementation in rats on high salt diets also prevented platelet free calcium and aldehyde conjugates in the liver and aorta and that daily low alcohol consumption prevented salt induced hypertension by preventing an increase in aldehyde conjugates and cytosolic calcium ions.

    Ref:

  • 1. Hypertension 1992, Jun;19(6 Pt 2):804-8 Tocigi, Japan.
  • 2. Mol Cell Biochem, 2005 Jul;275(1-2):135-41
  • 3. Mol cell Biochem 2006 Jul;287(1-2):53-60
  • Sodium's effects on mitochondrial function linked to intracellular depletion of calcium

    Babsky et al report that intracellular NA+ (sodium) is two times higher in diabetic cardiomyocytes than in control. He stated that " We hypothesized that the increase in Na+i activates the mitochondrial membrane Na/Ca2+ exchanger which leads to loss of intramitochondrial CA2+ with a subsequent (general depression) in bioenergetic function." (1) In experiments with diabetic rats, the researchers found that increased sodium levels led to abnormalities in oxidative processes and a decrease in ATP levels caused by a depletion in intramitochondrial calcium.

    1. Na+ effects on mitochondrial respiration and oxidative phosphorylation by Babsky et al. Exp Biol Med (Maywood) 2001 Jun;226(6):543-51

    Reversing Hypertension by Julian Whitaker MD

    This is an excellent book for anyone who wants to prevent or help himself to better health and normal blood pressure with diet, exercise, stress reduction and when necessary prescribed meditations.

    Whitaker describes the diet that has worked to normalize blood pressure along with all the drugs that are used to treat hypertension and their side effects. There are Thiazide diuretics, Loop diuretics, Beta blockers, Calcium channel blockers, Central adrenergic blockers, Ace inhibitors and Angiotension II Receptor Blockers. The drugs with the least side effects of all are the Angiotension II Receptor Blockers like Diovan (valsartan). The next best group are the ACE inhibitors like lisinopril, a commonly prescribed ACE inhibitor.

    The diuretics not only remove sodium but also potassium and other important minerals. I personally did not like the way I felt on the Thiazide Diuretics and have since used Lisinopril at a dose ranging from 10 to 20 mg daily. I have found that I can keep blood pressure in a normal range if I keep sodium intake below 1000 mg daily and stay away from meat and eggs for the first 2 meals of the day. I get the best results eating fish every other day in the evening alternated with free range chicken or buffalo meat every other day. The lower sodium diet has enabled me to gradually also lose 25 pounds of excess weight over a 3 month period from August 1st through Oct 31st. No bad for someone who turned 64 year old in August and the first substantial weight loss since I quit smoking in 2001.

    I test myself every morning and if the top number is near 140 or the bottom is close to 90, I will take 10 mg of Lisinopril followed by a drink of one half cup of passion fruit pulp with _one-half cup of added pineapple or apple juice and 1 spoonful of Perfect Colon Formula and 1 spoonful of Soluble Rice Bran (Super Good Stuff). That combination is a feel good formula and quickly drops blood pressure into the normal range. I have observed passion fruit alone decreasing blood pressure by about 20 points in less than one hour.

    Diet:

    A typical breakfast is rice bran cereal or quinoa with brown sugar and home made almond milk or a banana, with blueberries and raw walnuts.

    Lunch: Low sodium pea or lentil soup or home made chili or buffalo vegetable soup and a salad with salt-free free oil and vinegar dressing along with one slice whole grain bread or toast. A dish of sliced raw beets pickled soaked in apple cider vinegar with pickling spices and olive oil.

    Supper: Canned salt free salmon, sardines or broiled COD with lemon juice parsley and butter, boiled or baked potato, baked onion and steamed vegetables.

    Dessert: Dish of natural apple sauce or cooked cherries. An orange, apple or grapefruit.

    Snacks: raw avocado on rye crisp, Nut butter (almond or sunflower seed butter) on rice crackers, celery sticks, low sodium vegetable juices, low sodium soups and cucumbers.

    Alcohol: (not recommended for persons with candida albicans or who are alcohol sensitive). One ounce daily of brandy, whiskey or tequila in 4 ounces of passion fruit and pineapple juice or a small glass of dark red wine (Chianti?).

    Note: Passion fruit pulp can be found in the frozen food sections of Mexican store outlets and other foreign importers. Goya makes a lot of frozen fruit pulps including passion fruit. Go to goya.com to find a source of their products near you.

    Dark Chocolate contains L-arginine, a natural ACE inhibitor that also boosts the thymus gland. L arginine or chocolate are not recommended for persons with active herpes type infections.

    earthclinic.com

    This site has over 60 testimonials on the use of a apple cider vinegar to lower blood pressure although 3 persons tried ACV and got no results. However none of the 3 indicated they lowered their salt intake.

    Published quarterly. Copyright 2007- to subscribe to this newsletter, write or send a donation to Keep Hope Alive, PO Box 270041 West Allis, WI 53227. Phone 414-545-6539 Note: You can also read this and other past newsletters online at www.keephopealive.org