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Re: Blood Pressure and Supplements -- Lorraine

Posted by Rick on February 19, 2002, at 21:52:43

In reply to Blood Pressure and Supplements Lorraine, posted by IsoM on February 19, 2002, at 15:02:22

IsoM's suggestions are good ones. The best, safest, most reliable and likely cheapest (depending on your insurance) way to go is with antihyptertensive medications. If you're like me, a very small dose can go a long way. I do have to admit that, as much as Provigil helps me, I would have taken a long hard look at it at the start had I realized that it raises my blood pressure. But for me Serzone somehow cancelled out that effect, so I never even knew about it until I stopped Serzone for a few months. Man, I would have hated to give up the Provigil, and I'm glad my experiment recently showed that after a year and a half Provigil
had no permanent hypertensive effect that would always require a BP-lowering agent. (I stopped everything but the Klonopin for a few days just to check, and the BP quickly dropped back to normal.)

During more than two months, I took several of the supplements IsoM mentioned. I took a pretty high dose (100 mg/day) of CoQ10 the whole time, and don't think it lowered my BP much if at all. But it only seems to have that effect for certain people. I'm sticking with it for now because it can have other beneficial effects.

I'm not usually into herbs, but I found quite a few that lower my BP, usually within an hour (the same way I have reacted to antihypertensive meds). I didn't take any of this lightly; I subscribed to the Natural Medicines Database (evidence-based resource written by Pharmacists).
Many of the herbs that lowered my BP seemed to poop out quickly, and/or have very short half-lives. One supplement that appears safe and lowered my BP consistently at one or two dosings a day was Maitake Mushroom (I never would have believed it, to tell you the truth). I actually found that capsules with plain crushed herb were a lot more dependable than the "high-powered" standardized extracts. It's expensive, though, and if you use it you should stick with a major brand, including Grifron which is the company that researched and popularized Maitake. The GNC product worked great for me, but as with many GNC products they are extremely conservative with dosing recommendations. I do recommend their Maitake, but because their capsules contain only 100 mg Maitake powder, you could easily need 9-10 a day. (Until I restarted Serzone, which almost instantly lowered my BP again, I was taking 9 GNC Maitake capsules every morning.) Unlike some of the other herbs and supplements, the Maitake also brought a Provigil-induced resting-heart-rate increase back down. Unlike other brands, Grifron and GNC also mix Vitamin C in with the Maitake. Maybe there's some synergy there. Don't confuse Maitake with Shiitake, by the way. Shiitake is popular but potentially unsafe.

Kudzu (Nature's Herbs STANDARDIZED extract) also has a rapid BP and heart-rate lowering effect for me. It's much less expensive than Maitake, and it's also considered safe, but I get the impression the effect doesn't last too long, i.e. you'd have to take it at least 3 times a day. While I'm not entirely comfortable about herbs, I much prefer ones that are NOT grown in China or India, based on discovery of heavy metals and and other substances in some of the preparations. If you try any of these (and there's no guarantee they'll lower your BP just because they lowered mine), do stick with "name" brands like Nature's Way, Nature Made, GNC, Grifron, and Solgar. And check the expiration dates.

Fyi, others that lowered my BP substantially, at least at first:
-- Olive Leaf (but safety recrd not established)
-- Vinpocetine (actually intended as a memory-booster)

When I tried Ginkgo a few years ago, it lowered my blood pressure as well, at least initially. In fact, when I look through the "mechanisms of action" sections on the NMD, many of the herbs included show evidence of hypotensive properties (more specifically, certain constituents within the herbs show those properties).

Below is the Natural Medicine Database's write-up on Maitake. You'll note that they say there is insufficient evidence of effectiveness, because almost all studies have been in animals, and the NMD requires some well-designed human studies before they'll say something is "effective" or "possibly effective." But check the "safety" and "mechanisms of action" sections to see why I decided to try it. If I quit Serzone again (leaving just Provigil and Klonopin), I'll probably start taking whole-herb Maitake again if I don't take an antihypertensive or another psychotropic med that lowers my BP:



Also Known As:
Dancing Mushroom, Grifola, Hen Of The Woods, King Of Mushrooms, Maitake, Monkey's Bench, Shelf Fungi.
Scientific Names:
Grifola frondosa.
Family: Polyporaceae.
People Use This For:
Orally, maitake mushroom is used for cancer, HIV/AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), hepatitis, hay fever, diabetes, high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, weight loss or control, and chemotherapy support (1900).
For food uses, maitake mushroom is edible (1210) and has been consumed in Asia for thousands of years (6).
POSSIBLY SAFE ...when used orally and appropriately (12).
PREGNANCY AND LACTATION: Insufficient reliable information available; avoid using.
There is insufficient reliable information available about the effectiveness of maitake mushroom.
Mechanism of Action:
The applicable parts of maitake mushroom are the fruiting body and mycelium. Maitake mushroom contains beta-glucan, which has been shown to possess antitumor activity. The "D-fraction" of betaglucan appears to be the most active and potent form (6). Maitake mushroom has immunostimulant effects and activates natural killer cells, cytotoxic T-cells, interleukin-1, and superoxide anions (6). Experiments have shown varied effects. In hypertensive rats, it lowers blood pressure (1213,1214), and it improves the lipid profile in hyperlipidemic rats (1209,1211). In genetically-induced diabetic mice, it lowers blood glucose (1212), and in overweight rats, it reduces weight (6). Maitake mushroom might improve the quality of life of people with cancer by improving cancer symptoms and reducing pain, and it can aid in weight loss in overweight people (6). However, controlled studies are needed to confirm these effects (6).
Adverse Reactions:
None reported.
Interactions with Herbs & Supplements:
Insufficient reliable information available.
Interactions with Drugs:
DIABETES THERAPY: Monitor blood glucose levels closely due to claims that maitake mushroom has hypoglycemic effects (19).
Interactions with Foods:
No interactions are known to occur, and there is no known reason to expect a clinically significant interaction with maitake mushroom.
Interactions with Lab Tests:
No interactions are known to occur, and there is no known reason to expect a clinically significant interaction with maitake mushroom.
Interactions with Diseases or Conditions:
No interactions are known to occur, and there is no known reason to expect a clinically significant interaction with maitake mushroom.
ORAL: People typically take 500 to 1000 mg of maitake mushroom with water 2 or 3 times daily between meals. Maitake "D fraction" is typically dosed 6 mg twice daily between meals. The "D fraction" is also available as a liquid, approximately 1 mg/mL. For general use as a dietary supplement, the dose is 5 to 6 drops 3 times daily between meals. Health care professionals are directed to prescribe 0.5 to 1 mg/kg of body weight. If maitake mushroom causes stomach upset, the supplement is taken with food. Sometimes the dose is doubled or tripled (5273).
The potential for toxicity exists when other mushrooms are mistaken for maitake mushroom (6).

> Lorraine, there are supplements that are beneficial for those with hypertension but if it's idiomatic hypertension, very little will lower it except for medication.
> The supplements that are supposed to be beneficial are vitamin C (time-released is best & not wasted in your urine), vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, selenium, & coenzyme Q10. They don't help everyone but if your diet's low in these nutrients or you have trouble with proper absorption, these are recommended.
> Here's a link about supplements & hypertension with medical articles of the diff supplements:




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