Relieving the Pressure

 By age 60, about six in ten Americans have blood pressure high enough to treat with drugs. Millions more have blood pressure high enough to raise the risk of heart attack or stroke. High blood pressure can damage the blood vessels of the heart, the brain, the eyes, and the kidneys. It killed 33,000 people in 1990; this does not include those who died due to a stroke or heart attack caused by high blood pressure.

What's Your Blood Pressure?

Above 140/90 High
130/85 to 139/89 High normal
120/80 to 129/84 Normal
Below 120/80 Optimum
Blood pressure is a measure of the force of blood against the walls of the arteries. It is read with two numbers, systolic and diastolic, which are often just referred to as "top and bottom." The top number, systolic, measures blood pressure when the heart is pumping out blood. The bottom number, diastolic, measures blood pressure between heartbeats, that is, when the heart is not pumping but is at rest.

The usual cause of high blood pressure is a persistent increase in resistance to blood flow through the smaller branches of the arteries, which carry blood from the heart throughout the body. Why this happens is unknown 95 percent of the time.

What to do

Eat the DASH "combination" diet: In the recently completed DASH study (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), it was illustrated that diet alone can lower blood pressure as much as taking a drug. (New England Journal of Medicine, 336:1117, 1997; The DASH diet, which combines low total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol, with plenty of fruits, vegetables, fiber, and some low- fat dairy products, resulted in a 3.5/2.1 point blood pressure reduction in those with average blood pressure, and an 11.4/5.5 point reduction in those with high blood pressure.

Get potassium, magnesium, and calcium: The aforementioned DASH study combination diet resulted in 4,700 mg of potassium, 500 mg of magnesium, and 1,240 mg of calcium per day. The control diet had 1,700 mg, 500 mg, and 450 mg, respectively. The best way to get these minerals is through fruits and vegetables. Previous trials with individual supplements of these minerals showed contradictory or negative results.

Cut the salt: Although there is controversy, most experts maintain that cutting salt does lower blood pressure.

Lose weight and exercise: There is ample evidence that losing weight and exercising affect blood pressure positively. In the Trials of Hypertension, and ongoing series of trials looking at high blood pressure, an 18-month diet and exercise program resulted in lower blood pressure. The authors of one report on the study note that the "weight reduction program was shown to be an effective nonpharmacologic intervention for reducing blood pressure in overweight adults with high-normal blood pressure." (Archives of Internal Medicine, April 12, 1993.153:7)

Garlic: Garlic has many benefits, one of which is maintaining blood pressure. A specific type of garlic, Allium ursinum, is proving to have extraordinary effects in this regard.

Allium ursinum: What is it and what's the deal?
By Dallas Clouatre, Ph.D.

Allium ursinum, also known as alpine wild garlic, is a member of the Lilaceae family. Other members of this family include onions, leeks, and similar plants.

A number of studies indicate that Allium ursinum may lower blood pressure. This is done through three mechanisms, and A. ursinum is superior to regular garlic in this respect.

The ajoenes and g-glutamyl peptides in A. ursinum and regular garlic lead to vasodilation due to hyperpolarization of the membrane of vascular smooth muscle. A. ursinum has twice the content of both ajoenes and g-glutamyl peptides as regular garlic.

The g-glutamyl peptides also inhibit the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE). ACE inhibition is known to reduce elevated blood pressure levels. Finally, adenosine acts as a vasodilator.

A. ursinum may have other health benefits. Studies indicate that it may have hypoglycemic and antioxidant effects, as well as help lower lipid levels.

Dallas Clouatre, Ph.D, is a well- known researcher in natural products and supplements. He is author of four books, including Alpine Wild Garlic.

The article "Relieving the Pressure" is reproduced with the permission of AIM International
© 1997, 1998, 1999 by AIM International.

AIM Bear Paw Garlic AIM's Bear Paw Garlic (See Data Sheet) is a unique form of garlic. It is not derived from Allium sativum,the species of garlic sold in supermarkets and used in garlic supplements. Rather, AIM Bear Paw Garlic™ comes from Allium ursinum, a wild species of garlic found in central Europe. RETAIL: $18 bottle (90 Capsules).
WHOLESALE: 16.00. $5 shipping on all orders $50 or less.

Back to Home Page | Catalog/Product List | How to Order (Retail or Wholesale)
AIM Price List | The AIM Opportunity/How to be a Member