Hypertension doesn’t mean life on medication. We discuss the dangers of antihypertensive drugs and natural alternatives to ace inhibitors.
If you have high blood pressure, you may have been prescribed an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, often called an ACE inhibitor. Alternatively, you may have been given an angiotensin receptor blocker, or ARB. ACE inhibitors are a commonly prescribed pharmaceutical for blood pressure, with over 40 million people taking this drug daily.
Both drugs work on the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, a group of hormones that help to manage blood pressure. ACE inhibitors reduce the body’s ability to produce angiotensin II, a hormone that causes blood vessels to narrow. On the other hand, ARBs block the action of angiotensin II. Either way, with less circulating angiotensin II, blood vessels widen. As a result, blood pressure lowers, and blood flow to the heart improves.
Sounds great, right? Not so fast.
Dangers of ACE Inhibitors
As with all medication, ACE inhibitors have side effects, some of which are life-threatening. Perhaps the most common side effect of ace inhibitors is a persistent dry cough, often called ACE cough. While a cough may seem like a benign side effect, it causes significant problems for many people, including sleep disturbances and incontinence.
Other “minor” side effects associated with ACE inhibitors include:
- Elevated blood potassium levels (hyperkalemia)
- Low blood pressure
- Altered taste
- Increased risk of other infections, such as pneumonia
The use of ACE inhibitors has been linked with more serious side effects as well. In some instances, these drugs unexpectedly trigger swelling in the tissues, medically referred to as angioedema. When this swelling occurs in the mouth or throat, it quickly becomes life-threatening. In fact, ACE inhibitors are the leading cause of drug-induced angioedema in the United States.
Moreover, multiple studies have now linked the use of ACE inhibitors with lung cancer. For example, a 2021 study concluded that high use of ACE inhibitors was associated with a 33 percent higher risk of lung cancer.
Natural alternatives to ACE inhibitors and ARBs
It’s unfortunate that so many physicians sprint write to prescriptions for dangerous blood pressure medications, such as ACE inhibitors, without considering natural and effective alternatives. Some of the best natural anti-hypertensives include:
Beets are indeed a healing food. This is because beets contain high levels of nitrates, which the digestive system converts into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide (NO) is a natural vasodilator that relaxes and dilates blood vessels, thus lowering blood pressure.
Multiple studies have confirmed that beetroot juice does indeed lower blood pressure. For example, this 2018 systematic review of random clinical trials concluded that beetroot lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Our specially formulated organic Heart Beet Powder contains a unique blend of beetroot, beet and carrot juices, spinach, and kale sprout concentrate. These ingredients combine to support nitric oxide production, thus lowering blood pressure and improving circulation.
Individuals with hypertension often notice that their blood pressure decreases during summer. Sure, the less stressful, lazy summer days may contribute to this natural decrease. However, it’s likely the impact of the sun that is truly making a difference.
The human heart and blood vessels have many vitamin D receptors, indicating that vitamin D does play a role in heart function. While there is opposing evidence surrounding the link between vitamin D and hypertension, most research suggests that lower vitamin D levels are associated with high blood pressure.
Super D is a concentrated liquid vitamin D3 formula made to enhance the absorption and utilization of vitamin D in the body. As a result, super D supports healthy blood pressure and vascular system and is perfect for individuals who simply can’t get enough sun.
Magnesium is an essential mineral when it comes to heart health. In an ideal world, we would get all the magnesium we need from our diets. But, unfortunately, much of our food is depleted of this vital nutrient.
Research shows that magnesium is an effective anti-hypertensive. A 2016 meta-analysis of 34 randomized, double-blind studies concluded that oral magnesium supplementation significantly reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
While there are many magnesium supplements on the market, most only contain one type of magnesium. Magne 5 is a specially formulated supplement created by Dr. Jack Wolfson. Instead of one type of magnesium, Magne 5 includes the five essential kinds. This combination works at the cellular level to support healthy blood pressure.
Like magnesium, potassium is a potent anti-hypertensive. Present in all body tissues, this mineral and electrolyte is necessary for the proper cellular functioning of the heart.
The body doesn’t make potassium on its own, so it must come from the diet. Unfortunately, potassium deficiency is a common problem in the United States.
Diets high in potassium help to lower blood pressure. One mechanism by which this happens is through potassium’s ability to help remove excess sodium from the body. A 2022 study found that diets higher in potassium were protective against high blood pressure.
While plenty of potassium supplements are on the market, we are partial to Potassium Boost. This exclusive formula contains 1,200 mg of elemental potassium and 120 mg of magnesium. Together, these minerals act as a natural anti-hypertensive without the nasty side effects.
As the building block of protein, amino acids play a significant role in heart health. Amino acids are involved in nearly all biochemical reactions in the body. Nine of the 20 amino acids present in life are essential, meaning they must come from our diets.
Unfortunately, the standard American diet is deficient in many amino acids, leaving the body at risk for high blood pressure. Multiple studies have linked amino acid deficiencies with blood pressure problems.
The best amino acids to lower blood pressure include:
Vessel Support contains all three of these vital amino acids in one supplement. As a result, vessel support helps to optimize nitric oxide levels, thus relaxing blood vessels and lowering blood pressure.
Spices and Herbs
Herbs and spices are more than simple flavor enhancers. They are some of the very best anti-hypertensives around.
For example, multiple studies have concluded that garlic lowers blood pressure, often just as effectively as medication. Turmeric is another spice that has been proven to reduce blood pressure levels. Other effective anti-hypertensives include rosemary, thyme, and ginger.
While adding these spices to your daily diet is best, you can also supplement with many. Some of our favorites include:
Kick your ACE inhibitors to the curb
With so many Americans on blood pressure medications, it’s easy to assume they are safe and effective. After all, why would they be prescribed so frequently otherwise? Unfortunately, hypertensive drugs are not as effective as many proclaim and come with multiple side effects.
Thankfully, mother nature has provided us with all the support we need to regulate blood pressure. You can be free from medication!