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Controlling Hypertension Without Synthetic Medications


Pre-edited version of the published article written for Advance for Respiratory Care Practitioners.



Desmond Allen, PhD, ND, RCP

Dr.   Allen advises all readers to consult their physician before abandoning any pharmaceutical therapy or adding any natural remedy.  He also encourages everyone to take responsibility for their own healthcare decisions, and to seek the opinion of an alternative healthcare professional.



The medical community is keeping a secret that you need to know.  The beneficial affects of the amino acid, L-Arginine, are amazing.  Addressed in nearly 30,000 scientific research papers, it may be the most documented, yet most secret topic in science.  Even though the 1998 Noble Prize for medicine was awarded for work in this area, physicians refuse to inform the public of the dramatic clinical outcomes achieved by daily dietary supplements of this simple amino acid.

We consume about 5 to 6 grams of arginine daily, from certain proteins.  Arginine-derived nitric oxide, dubbed ADNO, is synthesized as needed by the enzyme, endothelial nitric oxide synthase, (NOS).  After years of unanswered questions, science now knows that the body uses ADNO molecules to regulate vessel tone and affect vessel relaxation.  For various reasons, the endothelium may not release adequate amounts of NOS, thereby resulting in inadequate However, ANDO.  L-Arginine supplements have proven to increase ADNO.  In turn, this has proven to reverse hypertension, atherosclerosis, and impotence.  Some have concluded, perhaps anecdotally, that L-Arginine could replace every high blood pressure medication on the market.

Other important properties of ADNO have been discovered as well.  It helps regulate lipid and cholesterol levels.  It boosts the immune system as a free-radical scavenger.  It has certain antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal effects.  It is a powerful anticoagulant and it is believed to be the substance that facilitates long-term memory.  L-Arginine is a safe and common amino acid with virtually no side effects.  It benefits are undisputed. 

So, why the secret?  Two reasons.  The pharmaceutical companies make no money on L-Arginine.  It cannot be patented.  Until they can figure out a way to profit from it, it is unlikely that medicine will begin prescribing it.  Case in point.  L-Arginine’s ability to reverse impotence has long been known to medical scientist, but there was no commercial profit to be made.  This prompted research that eventually generated a certain, popular, patentable, anti-impotence medication.  Now the pharmaceutical company can promote a $10 pill rather than a simple amino acid that cost mere pennies.

The ego factor is likely an issue as well.  L-Arginine has no mystic, it is not regulated.  Prescribing this substance would be like prescribing filet mignon.  Certainly  physicians must provide their patients a more potent, controlled substance, something synthetic, something worthy of their superior education. 

From a financial perspective, this single substance potentially threatens the entire medical industry.  It has proven an affective and very inexpensive treatment for a variety of medical conditions.  Hypertension alone is a multi-billion dollar business for health care.  It’s a gold mine for the pharmaceutical companies, the hospitals, and the physicians.  The damage it does generates an untold number of office visits and hospitalizations every year for kidney and eye damage, stroke and cardiovascular troubles.  Consider the cardiovascular aspect alone: electrocardiograms, echocardiograms, cardiac stress tests, cath labs procedures, and interpretation fees for each.  Then there is cardiovascular surgery and cardiac rehabilitation.  Avoiding all this with a mere amino acid supplement that cost about 50 cents a day would wreak havoc to the industry.

Cynical? Yes, but for good reason.

I receive many requests from traditional, allopathic, health care workers for information on to control hypertension by natural methods.  The volume of these requests ranks second only to the control of asthma.  This is interesting because some 50 million Americans are known to suffer high blood pressure,1 which is five times that of asthma.  I believe the answer to this disproportion is multi-focal.  An acute asthmatic attack is more dramatic than is an episode of high blood pressure, and asthma claims many children as it victims.  Furthermore, many assume there is no treatment other than pharmacology for their hypertension and simply never investigate further.  Still others do not realize they suffer from hypertension, and likely, even more simply choose to ignore it.  Hoping it will go away, they convince themselves they are in no harm. 

However, it did not earn the nick name “silent killer” in vain.  Left untreated, hypertension can lead to countless other medical problems from kidney and heart failure, to stroke.  In time, its toll is inevitable as evidence by some 33 thousand untimely deaths each year.2

Allopathic pharmacopeia has a selection of several effective treatments for hypertension, ranging from diuretic, alpha-blockers, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors and calcium channel blockers.  But each has significant side effects.  Depending upon the medication, side effects may include skin rashes, photosensitivity, headache, electrolyte imbalances, hypokalemia leading to increased serum creatinine, increase uric acid leading to gout, kidney stones, increase glucose, increased LDL-cholesterol, increased triglycerides, and most immediately disturbing for many, impotence.1

Although there are very effective natural remedies for treating hypertension, it should be of little surprise that they are shunned by the allopathic community.  The pharmaceutical companies make many millions of dollars on these drugs.  They have wined and dined countless physicians on their profits.  Although the natural remedies can hardly be classified as highly guarded secrets, certainly they are classified as “hush, hush” within the industry. 

Perhaps the most significant discovery in recent years is the many positive effects of nitric oxide.  For more than a decade, researchers have been publishing articles about the powerful vasodilating effects of nitric oxide, which they discovered is converted at the cellular level from the amino acid Arginine.3-6 Although body builders have used L-Arginine for years to stimulate the release of the human growth hormone HGH, only a few research scientists suspected that it played a key role in vessel relaxation. 

We now know there are at least three kinds of a special enzymes called nitric oxide synthase that causes different parts of the body to convert L-Arginine into nitric oxide as needed.  It has be dubbed arginine-derived nitric oxide or ADNO.  There is one in the brain that may be responsible for encoding long-term memory; one is released for the immune cells to produce ADNO for use as an anti-oxidant; and the third is released by the endothelium to creating ADNO for vessel relaxation.7 Although the molecule lasts only a few seconds it has a potent vasodilating effect upon the vessel walls.  It is now realized that nitric oxide is essential to vasodilatation and the maintenance of systemic vascular pressure.  It is this gas that regulates the flow and shunting of blood throughout the body as needed.8

Recently, the 1998 Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to three American researchers for their work in this area.  Yet it is most curious that despite more than 10-thousand citations in significant scientific research journals concerning arginine-derived nitric oxide,9 still the medical community and pharmacopeia neglect to make use of it.  Why? As for the pharmaceutical industry, they cannot patent it, therefore they can make no money selling it.  As for the physicians, they are minions of the pharmaceutical companies, brainwashed into thriving on whatever they are spoon feed from above.      

Arginine is found in various meats and dairy produces.  The average diet has about 5-6 grams per day.  As a supplement for hypertension, researcher recommend from 3 to 6 grams daily,10 taken three times a day, thereby keeping a consent supply in the system.  In addition to vessel relaxation, research has shown ADNO to have other benefits.  It is a potent free-radical scavenger, it lowers LDL-cholesterol, is an anticoagulant, it encodes long-term memory, it dramatically improves impotence, it relaxes hypertonic sphincters muscles such as prevent the healing of hemorrhoids; and these is evidence that it could play a vital role in pancreatic insulin regulation and may prevent incidence of preeclampsia.11 However, there is a caution for anyone suffering from certain conditions that may not tolerate excessive vascular dilatation: for example, migraines, depression, certain autoimmune disorders, etc.   

There are other, important natural remedies for hypertension as well.  Not the lest of which are losing weight (if applicable), avoiding tobacco, caffeine, alcohol, table salt and foods with a high inorganic sodium chloride content.  Some herbs that elevate the blood pressure and should be avoided as well are licorice, ma hung (ephedra).2

For many years we have known that 2 or 3 gloves of garlic a day will effectively lower high blood pressure.   It affects the autonomic nervous system and has hypolipidaemic properties that can lower the systolic pressure by 20-30 mm Hg and the diastolic by 10-20 mm HG.  Onions have similar effects on the lipids levels and the blood pressure.12 

Foods rich in potassium, magnesium and calcium are essential.  Because mineral deficiencies have been linked to hypertension supplements may be necessary.  Other herbs have proven beneficial for hypertension: cayenne, chamomile, fennel, hawthorn berries, parsley, and rosemary.  Flaxseed, olive and primrose oil contain essential Omega-3 fatty acids that improve circulation, lower cholesterol and help lower blood pressure.2

Lifestyle cannot be under estimated when dealing with hypertension.  Most cases can be corrected with diet and exercise.  Indeed, the disorder is primarily associated with the Western diet, found almost exclusively in developed countries.12  Stress is another factor that cannot be overlooked.  Some researchers have suggested that stress is related to 80% of major illnesses.13   

Another issue that must be considered when dealing with hypertension is heavy metal toxicity.13 Chronic exposure to metals such as lead in contaminated drinking water, or cadmium in cigarette smoke can be contributing and even primary causes of hypertension as they clog the arteries and inhibit vessel elasticity.  Along with avoiding the exposure, supplemental chelating agents can be taken to rid these toxins from the body.  They will simultaneously remove calcium deposits and blood fats as well.14

Oral chelation is safe.15 As you can see, some of the more potent and popular agents are merely alfalfa; the amino acids cysteine and glutathione, the minerals manganese, selenium, potassium and zinc; and the antioxidant vitamins C and E. 




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