Enzyme Formulas | Natural Health Blog

Date: 04/26/2008    Written by: Jon Barron

Hypertension Linked to Diet and Intestinal Bacteria


A new study shows that high blood pressure may have even more to do with diet and how your body processes food than with genetics. The study, led by researchers at the Imperial College London, analyzed the chemicals found in the urine of 4,630 middle-aged adults in Great Britain, the US, China and Japan. They discovered significant differences between the metabolic profiles of the Eastern and Western participants even when the genetic profiles were similar. Notably, Japanese participants living in the West showed metabolic profiles closer to those of Westerners. The researchers concluded that these results indicate that lifestyle and diet determine blood pressure levels to an even greater extent than genetics. Furthermore, they found a strong link between hypertension and specific chemicals in the urine of the sample population, which gave strong indications as to what exactly triggers a rise in blood pressure.

First of all, the participants with high blood pressure had elevated levels of the amino acid alanine, which is abundant in animal protein. Those with lower blood pressure showed higher levels of the compound hippurate, created when the body breaks down starches through the activity of digestive enzymes and gut bacteria such as those found in probiotics. In addition, hippurate levels decrease when you drink alcohol and increase if you eat fiber. The researchers also found the compound formate at higher levels in those with low blood pressure. Formate helps in metabolizing chloride from salt.

The implications couldn't be clearer. Regular consumption of high levels of meat and dairy raises your alanine level and therefore puts you in the group at risk for high blood pressure. Drinking alcohol alone or with your meals lowers your hippurate level, which again, puts you in the at-risk group. If you eat lots of fiber on the other hand, you raise the level of hippurate, which puts you in the low-risk category. And if you optimize your balance of intestinal bacteria through good diet and supplementation, you most likely have an abundance of formate and hipurate, which again, puts you in the low-risk category.

In short, the results of the study mean you need to keep your gut healthy in order to maintain healthy blood pressure. This means eating lots of organic vegetables, fruits, and whole foods, while avoiding sugars, starches, and excessive amounts of animal protein or alcohol. It means cleansing and detoxing your colon a few times a year to give it a chance to slough off toxins, parasites, and waste and regain its proper balance of flora. It also means supplementing with a probiotic formula that contains recognized super strains of beneficial bacteria, particularly L. acidophilus and bifidobacteria. And finally, it means taking digestive enzymes with every meal.

The good news is that genetics don't necessarily condemn you to hypertension. Professor Paul Elliott, a study co-author, says: "… whereas a person can't alter their DNA, they can change their metabolic profile by changing their diet and lifestyle." Amen to that!

PS: What about the salt factor? The medical community regularly asserts a link between high-salt diets and hypertension. This new research, on the other hand, indicates that hippurate metabolizes salt, which means, since hippurate levels rise with good overall diet and healthy gut bacteria, that the effect of salt on your blood pressure is largely determined by the state of your intestinal health and by dietary factors other than the salt itself. And anyway, as I've pointed out before, the link between salt and high-blood pressure isn't that simple. There's a significant difference between unprocessed sea salt, which your body needs in moderation, and commercial, refined salt, which stresses your system.


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    Submitted by Deanne on
    June 9, 2008 - 4:54am

    My husband has been suffering from hypertension for years and I've tried everything to get him to eat healthier. The only thing he won't object to is drinking milk. I found a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that immunized milk can lower blood pressure and even cholesterol, so he regularly takes immunized milk supplement, but nothing else to keep his diet healthier. Now, I can show this to him and tell him he needs to stop blaming his high blood pressure on his dad and start taking responsibility!

    Submitted by Frank C on
    July 31, 2010 - 7:57am

    You may want to consider taking the Amino Acid L-Arginine in large quantity.
    I would sugest to start smal, 500 mg and work yourself up to 4000 mg. this will put Nitric Oxide to relax the blood vessel. with it you can add 1000mg of Vitamin D and Hawthorne. Hawthorne 3 time a day.
    Add a 10 minute breathing Excercise each day when watching TV

    Submitted by gary on
    April 28, 2008 - 3:24am

    Very enriching info. I've always thought that gut conditions can dictate the status of our health. I have always been wary of the side effects of medicines on our gut, that's why if I can't avoid the intake of antibiotics I make it a point to follow up with probiotics. Moreover,I supplement daily with the Omega 3 packed flax seed, along with soya milk, for the upkeep of cholesterol balance in my body.

    Submitted by J. D. on
    May 1, 2008 - 8:15am

    Jon: I read your commentary and followed the threads also. Very interesting. As one who has had HBP since I was very young that does not respond well to conventional treatment, this has a potentially special significance. I will watch these developments closely.
    Here's a question for you. Could these same factors also affect the blood? I am specifically thinking of clotting ability. I wonder about that since blood clots are the basis for so many heart attacks and strokes. I am thinking in terms of the elements in the clotting cascade that you have written about in your paper on blood being influenced by the same conditions. Do you have any thoughts and comments on that that you would like to share?
    Thanks for doing what you do.............

    Submitted by Jamesina Goulbourne on
    April 1, 2009 - 12:34am

    This information is excellent as usual from Jon Baron and will be a subject of my next newsletter.
    Here in England the public are becoming more aware of how the diet plays a major roll in heart disease and high blood pressure. My husband and I will be starting a health program which includes the intake of digestive enzymes and probiotics, and also want to begin a full detox program soon. We don`t have hypertension although we are aged 54 and 67 and believe that keeping our bodies healthy especially the gut will help us maintain that measure of health.
    Well done and thanks Jon!

    Submitted by nura on
    July 7, 2010 - 7:10pm

    My husband is suffering from hi blood pressure,systolic hi is 165.
    low is normal diastolic 75 .
    Hes Dr prescribed LISINOPRIL 40 mg.from 20 mg to 40 mg now hes cough fin,
    He eats good foods,how can i help him.

    Submitted by Karen Carter on
    February 7, 2015 - 2:00am
    Logan City, Qld, Australia. ,

    I have just been diagnosed with heart failure at 40. The doctors were baffled as to what caused it. They thought perhaps a virus may have damaged my heart. I have never had any heart problems until now. However I have had IBS for the last 18 years and reflux. I have also suffered from chronic fatigue after a virus back in 1997. I am now wondering if this is what has caused my heart to fail?

    Submitted by Vick on
    November 21, 2015 - 9:47pm
    La , California

    Well if you have heart problems, make sure you take at least 200MG of coq10 every day. That will boost heart health

    Get your vitamin d levels checked. People with low levels of d usually have impaired immune function, hence the fatigue from the virus

    You can also take olive leaf extract, it's a natural anti viral

    Take digestive enzymes to help increase your energy . You can get the broad spectrum papaya enzyme off Amazon

    Reduce your refined sugar intake.

    Meditate at least 1 hour a day.

    Submitted by Shelly on
    July 29, 2018 - 12:18am
    Sedona , Arizona

    Do you have Epstein Barr Virus? I have it and Anthony Williams seems to know a lot about it. This virus causes 101 health problems depending on what stage it’s in. I went to emergency two Saturday’s ago. My heart started racing and wouldn’t stop. I never had this happen before. They said I had anxiety hypertension. I totally believe diet plays a major roll in health. I moved and went off my healthy eating while I couldn’t cook where I stayed while house was being built. I paid the price! Any thoughts on beets “Super beets” for lowering blood pressure?

    Submitted by Qazi Ayaz on
    December 10, 2015 - 2:05am
    pehawar ,

    I am a male and crossing in the age of 50 , I can walk for dozens of miles with out feeling any tiredness . but at same time time I am a hypertensive , my diastolic number sometime goes to 100 and normally at the range of 90 I could,nt start any regular medication so far.I am just using Safac tablets of 5 to 10 mg. plz give consultation in this regard..

    Submitted by Suzan on
    August 4, 2016 - 5:59am
    Gettysburg , Pennsylvania

    I have had digestive issues for years, maybe all my life, am 45 and have been taking probiotics and digestive enzymes for some time it helps with the indigestion symptoms, not really heartburn either. But they don't really help gasteroperisis? I have been experiencing weakness, and bp fluctuations that make me lightheaded and faint feeling, no energy had several ER visits with no answers and have missed almost an entire week of work. Any suggestions?

    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    August 4, 2016 - 6:54pm

    No, they wouldn’t help with gastroparesis. Gastroparesis results from a physical injury to either the vagus nerve or the stomach muscles themselves. Medical options are limited, but you might want to look online for a chiropractor in your area who specializes in gastroparesis. There are things they can do.

    Submitted by Adrienne on
    February 14, 2017 - 1:55pm
    Chicago , Illinois

    I am 36 and was diagnosed first with GERD, hiatal hernia, then with type 2 diabetes, then hypertension (a couple occasions at 200/110 and no relief from meds) both out of nowhere at age 26. I'm only a few pounds overweight and was an athlete. I recall struggling with digestive issues at least a few years prior and still have trouble keeping a balance. In the past 4 years or so, I was diagnosed with gastroparesis, supposedly common to diabetics and the pins and needles and burning started creeping and soon I had symptoms of heart attacks and palsy on my left side , anxiety attacks, could not stomach any food. Nobody could give me solid answers other than my blood sugar being an issue. By the way, A1c was about 6.4 at the time of diagnosis -hardly out of control to cause nerve damage. I had extensive blood work done including bacteria (my probiotics were actually higher than average) panels and yeast panels, scoping, EKGs with no conclusive results. I've also been going to traditional chiropractic therapy for years because a few traumas to my neck and back. This time, I did a little more research and about 6 months ago I started going to a NUCCA certified chiropractor, which is completely different. The day after my first visit, I woke up to absolutely no pain. I knew immediately that my gerd was subdued and without meds. No more dizziness, facial numbness, pins and needles down my esophagus and stomach. I ate a full meal without feeling sick and my IBS was curbed. My BP and anxiety remarkedly improved. Now this was an extremely fast result and supposedly not typical but I can say it gave me my life back. My diagnosis was atlas subluxation and X-rays showed that my atlas is severely out of alignment. Look this up. This is not something that hits you overnight. Generally it takes 10-15 years for symptoms to develop after the traumatic incident. I do have struggles now and again. Especially if I sneeze or cough too hard, I find myself slipped again. I travel 50 miles one way to the nearest practice unfortunately because these practioners are few and far between but still go once a week. Www.nucca.org.... good luck!

    Submitted by Diana Fletcher on
    October 1, 2018 - 9:32pm
    Layton , Utah

    I would like to talk with you about your condition. I have a friend who also had gastroparesis and now it is gone.

    Submitted by Maria on
    December 2, 2016 - 9:21am
    Clearwater , Florida

    I have had HBP troubles for some time noe. Recently it got dangerously high. It was over 300/165. I have been taken to the ER and later hospitalized 4 times in the past 2 weeks. Needless to say i have been placed on several blood pressure meds.which are not really working.
    One thing I have noticed is that for some time 1month or so) , I had stopped taking my Digestive enzymes and probiotics which I have been talking for over fifteen years now. Against my doctors wishes, I am taking them again. I feel better when I do; which is about 2 days. I also take Nattokinase. I will let you know how I continue to feel. For now I will join with Jon Baron and say gut health is essential to o it health. More so when we have HBP.

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