“Antioxidants are one of the most interesting and important classes of phytochemicals. They are found in nature in many plants and are believed to have a wide array of biological functions. They are found in animal foods too, but the concentration is so low that they are not considered bioactive. Antioxidant activity is often cited as a potential benefit of consuming certain foods and also in food supplements. This article will consider some of the properties of antioxidants and their importance in the context of food.”

Three months ago, I went to the doctor following an odd pain in my abdomen, which I had been experiencing for several months. A test revealed that I had a small adhesion in my left kidney which was blocking the flow of urine. Doctor’s usually recommend surgery to fix this problem, which can be dangerous and hard to perform. On my way to surgery, I started to research the problem online and found a doctor who believed he could help me without cutting into my kidney. It turns out that there are a few different procedures that can be done to unblock the urine flow and keep me healthy without surgery. The results were amazing. Over the course of the next week, my urine flow began to normalize,

As a graduate in English, my first love was literature. So, naturally, I love food. However, I drive on the road to work every day. With each passing week, my waistline grows. My cholesterol has been skyrocketing lately; my blood pressure has been getting higher. In a recent health report, my doctor told me that I am at a risk for heart disease. Do I look overweight? Yes. Do I look unhealthy? Yes. Do I look like I am in danger for heart disease? Not really. I am not overweight.  My doctor says that I am at a risk for heart disease.

Dr. Detective finds an unexpected cardiovascular risk sign in his seemingly healthy patient in this week’s case study, and advises the patient on dietary remedies.

Eat less calories and exercise more. It’s a fantastic prescription for boosting health and body composition in general. It does not, however, always work.

Even with a great workout routine and a well-balanced diet, some people experience strange symptoms and complaints, especially given how much effort they put into their fitness and health.

We know there are just a few specialists on the world to turn to when we encounter customers who have issues that exercise and diet — not to mention their own physicians — can’t seem to cure. Bryan Walsh is one of them.

Dr. Walsh has a keen intellect, a fitness background, a naturopathic medical degree, and a long list of extra training and certifications. His wife, too, is a naturopath. (We’re willing to wager that his children are the healthiest on the world.)

Dr. Walsh transforms from a mild-mannered father and husband into a forensic physiologist when difficult situations occur. He takes out his microscope and examines blood, saliva, urine, lifestyle – anything it takes to solve the medical puzzle.

We leapt at the opportunity to collaborate with Dr. Walsh on a regular case study segment. You’ll learn how a skilled practitioner thinks by following along with these interesting examples. You’ll also learn how to take better care of yourself.

In today’s example, we encounter a seemingly healthy guy whose arteries may be working against him. Discover how Dr. Detective solves this mystery.


What is hypertension, and what causes it?

Blood exerts strain on the walls of your arteries as it flows. Your blood pressure is the measure of how strong this force is.

Of course, your blood must circulate with some force; this is how your body obtains the nutrients it requires. However, applying too much force may be hazardous, since it can destroy the vessels.

Blood pressure is calculated by dividing two integers by a slash (e.g. 120/80). The top number (also known as systolic blood pressure) represents the pressure that your heart exerts when it beats. The bottom number (also known as diastolic blood pressure) represents the pressure in your heart when it relaxes.

The more hazardous these numbers get, and the longer they remain high, the more deadly they become.

High blood pressure is regarded as a silent killer, as you may have heard. It is, in fact, the greatest cause of mortality in North America, according to the World Health Organization.

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North America’s leading causes of death (WHO, 2002)

The example presented today illustrates how this risk factor is often overlooked, and why hypertension is a silent killer.

The customer

Doug, a 38-year-old man, visited our clinic for a routine check-up. He didn’t have any specific symptoms in mind; he just wanted to make sure he was doing all he could to preserve his seeming excellent health.

Symptoms and indications of the client

In a nutshell, none!

Doug ate a well-balanced diet of mainly whole organic foods, avoiding gluten and dairy to the greatest extent feasible. He only worked out on occasion, but he was in good shape. He said that he was stressed at work and in his personal life, but that nothing in particular needed to be addressed.

The exams and evaluations

We performed Doug’s blood chemistry and salivary hormone panel, as well as a short physical check, despite the fact that he reported no worrisome symptoms. We perform this with almost all of our patients, and it’s remarkable how much information we can get from such basic testing.

The results of the tests

Panel of blood chemistry

Doug’s blood chemistry and salivary hormone profile seemed to be in excellent shape, with just a few indicators needing further investigation. So far, everything has gone well!

Physical examination

Doug’s physical was ordinary, as you’d expect given his background.

One thing stood out, however: his blood pressure measurement of 158/73.

As excellent investigators, we immediately recognized this as a major discovery.

Doug’s systolic pressure was not just high (a possible issue in and of itself), but the difference between his systolic and diastolic readings was also abnormally large.

This difference is called pulse pressure, and it’s a lesser-known but crucial component of good and unhealthy blood pressure.

Let’s take a closer look at the importance of this discovery.

The Third Number for Blood Pressure

Blood pressure values of 120/80 mmHg are regarded to be normal.

The top number indicates the amount of pressure in arterial arteries when the heart is contracting and ejecting blood via those vessels, as previously stated. The pressure in the arteries while the heart is relaxing is represented by the bottom number.

High blood pressure is hazardous because it has the potential to break off bits of atherosclerotic plaque, which we all have to some degree. These may block blood flow to the heart or brain, possibly resulting in a heart attack or stroke.

If you’ve ever opened an old, seldom used tap, you’ll know what I’m talking about: chunks of rust and dirt pouring out with the water, followed by a hopelessly blocked drain. Yuck.

It’s best to maintain our systolic and diastolic readings within a specific range if we don’t want to end up like that sink.

Table 1 shows how blood pressure is classified.

Classification Systolic Diastolic
Normal <120 <80
Prehypertension 120-139 80-89
Hypertension in the first stage 140-139 90-99
Hypertension in the second stage ≥160 ≥100

A third blood pressure number, pulse pressure, has been proven to be an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which is less well-known.

Going a step farther

The diastolic pressure is subtracted from the systolic pressure to determine pulse pressure. A person with a normal blood pressure of 120/80, for example, will have a pulse pressure of 40 mmHg (120 – 80 = 40).

According to research, a pulse pressure of more than 60 mmHg is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Why? We don’t know for sure, but this figure may suggest increasing artery stiffness.

When the heart contracts, blood is ejected into the arteries, which are supposed to expand to accommodate the increased blood flow. The pressure will increase if the arteries do not expand during cardiac systole. The pressure drops when the heart relaxes in diastole — and it may drop dramatically. Patency, or elasticity, does not play as large a role in diastolic pressure as it does in systolic pressure.

Increased pulse pressure is thought to be caused by a loss of elasticity in the arteries, either owing to reduced elastic qualities (i.e. elastin) or increased stiffness caused by arteriosclerosis.

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When arteries lose their flexibility, pulse pressure rises.

The treatment plan

Doug seemed to be in good condition, but with a pulse pressure of 84 mmHg – more than twice the usual value – it was fair to infer that his arteries were stiff – perhaps due to excessive arteriosclerosis. As a result, he was at an increased risk of a cardiovascular incident in the future.

To the rescue, Dr. Detective!

We chose to address both of the potential reasons of arterial stiffness: reduced elasticity and increased calcification.

Here are our suggestions, along with a short explanation:

Innate Response to Vitamin C Vitamin C-400, split into six pills each day. Vitamin C is necessary for the synthesis of elastin and collagen, two proteins present in artery walls.

Allergy Research – Vitamin K Two softgels of Full Spectrum K are used twice a day in split dosages. Vitamin K, according to some new studies, may help prevent and even cure atherosclerosis in certain instances.

Serrapeptase – Take two capsules on an empty stomach twice a day. It may have anti-inflammatory properties since it is a proteolytic enzyme. Serrapaptase may decrease arteriosclerosis and enhance vascular function, according to anecdotal data, although further research is needed.

Fish oil/Krill oil — Fish oil and krill oil provide around 3 g of omega-3 fatty acids per day. Reason: EPA and DHA may help lower blood pressure, and DHA in particular may help lower systolic pressure. More research is required, but astaxanthin, a carotenoid contained in krill oil, may also help to lower blood pressure.

Ubiquinol – Ubiquinol – Ubiquinol – Ubiquinol – Ubiquinol – Ub In split dosages, use two 50mg gel caps each day. CoQ10 has antioxidant effects and may help to lower blood pressure by lowering plasma viscosity.

The end result

Doug bought a blood pressure cuff after his initial appointment visit and continued to check his blood pressure once a week. His blood pressure has dropped to 146/72 after 30 days. His blood pressure had improved even further, to 128/71, sixty days after beginning the recommended regimen. He has kept this reading since then.

Doug’s pulse pressure is still somewhat high at 55 mgHg, despite his significant improvement. We’d want to see it drop to about 10 mmHg in the long run.

Summary

So, what can we learn from Doug’s experience?

  1. It doesn’t imply you don’t have an underlying health issue just because you don’t have any apparent symptoms. There are no noticeable signs of hypertension or elevated pulse pressure. Visit your doctor on a regular basis.
  2. Increased pulse pressure is a risk factor for a cardiovascular event that is most likely caused by reduced arterial patency or increased arterial stiffness.
  3. Many dietary supplements may help reduce blood pressure, but it’s crucial to pinpoint the exact mechanism at work.

Find out more.

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With digital technology allowing us to view our own bodies as never before, we have a chance to learn what makes us tick. How does the brain work? Why do some people eat more than others? How much should we sleep? And what’s more, we can now investigate the effects of what we eat and drink on our own bodies.. Read more about the good detective and let us know what you think.

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