Vitamin D may lower blood pressure in African-Americans

A trial published in the journal Hypertension (Feb 3, 2013) found that Vitamin D supplementation can lower blood pressure in African-Americans, who are at greater risk for high blood pressure than the general population.

In the research study, participants received a placebo, or 1000, or 2000, or 4000 IUs of Vitamin D3 a day for three months. There was no significant change for those taking the placebo. Those who took the highest amount of Vitamin D daily showed the greatest reduction in blood pressure. “This degree of blood pressure reduction, if confirmed in future studies, would be considered clinically significant,” said the lead author, Dr. John P. Forman. (Quoted in NYT online, where we first read of this story.)

NYBC stocks Vitamin D in several different strengths:

http://nybcsecure.org/index.php?cPath=25

Vitamin D is a low-cost supplement, and is reported to have no adverse effects in daily doses as high as 4000IU. Search under Vitamin D for previous posts on this blog about the vitamin’s potential for cardiovascular health benefits, especially for African-Americans and other groups at elevated risk.

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Vitamin D and racial disparity in blood pressure

An article published in 2011 suggested that low Vitamin D levels may contribute to higher rates of hypertension (high blood pressure) among African Americans. Higher rates of hypertension in turn produce higher rates of cardiovascular disease and its related mortality. The article examined existing data on blood pressure and detected a significant link between lower levels of Vitamin D and higher risk of hypertension in African Americans. The authors note that Vitamin D level did not emerge as the sole factor explaining racial disparity in blood pressure (other factors include lack of access to healthcare, diet, and stress). They also call for trials to determine if supplementation can impact high blood pressure risk.

Read the article: Racial disparity in blood pressure: is vitamin D a factor?

See further information about Vitamin D and cardiovascular health on this Blog, or in the NYBC entries under Vitamin D3 at
http://nybcsecure.org/index.php?cPath=25&sort=3a&page=2

GABA Hey! Blood Pressure and Sleep

NYBC carries Pressure Optimizer and GABA Soothe to help manage a range of issues. Among them, the data below suggest a benefit for managing borderline hypertension (high blood pressure). A related item in the NYBC catalog, Theanine Serene, also has a fair amount of GABA along with green tea-extract theanine; this combination was designed especially as an anti-anxiety or anti-stress formula.

The second study below looked at a combo of GABA and 5-HTP and found some benefits for helping to get a restful sleep.

Shimada M, Hasegawa T, Nishimura C, Kan H, Kanno T, Nakamura T, Matsubayashi T. Anti-hypertensive effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-rich Chlorella on high-normal blood pressure and borderline hypertension in placebo-controlled double blind study. Clin Exp Hypertens. 2009 Jun;31(4):342-354.

Abstract
The anti-hypertensive effect of GABA-rich Chlorella was studied after oral administration for 12 weeks in the subjects with high-normal blood pressure and borderline hypertension in the placebo-controlled, double-blind manner in order to investigate if GABA-rich Chlorella, a dietary supplement, is useful in control of blood pressure. Eighty subjects with Systolic blood pressure (SBP) 130-159 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) 85-99 mmHg (40 subjects/group) took the blinded substance of GABA-rich Chlorella (20 mg as gamma-aminobutyric acid) or placebo twice daily for 12 weeks, and had follow-up observation for an additional 4 weeks. Systolic blood pressure in the subjects given GABA-rich Chlorella significantly decreased compared with placebo (p < 0.01). Diastolic blood pressure had the tendency to decrease after intake of GABA-rich Chlorella. Neither adverse events nor abnormal laboratory findings were reported throughout the study period. Reduction of SBP in the subjects with borderline hypertension was higher than those in the subjects with high-normal blood pressure. These results suggest that GABA-rich Chlorella significantly decreased high-normal blood pressure and borderline hypertension, and is a beneficial dietary supplement for prevention of the development of hypertension.

PMID: 19811362 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

***
Shell W, Bullias D, Charuvastra E, May LA, Silver DS. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of an amino acid preparation on timing and quality of sleep. Am J Ther. 2010 Mar-Apr;17(2):133-139.

Abstract
This study was an outpatient, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of a combination amino acid formula (Gabadone) in patients with sleep disorders. Eighteen patients with sleep disorders were randomized to either placebo or active treatment group. Sleep latency and duration of sleep were measured by daily questionnaires. Sleep quality was measured using a visual analog scale. Autonomic nervous system function was measured by heart rate variability analysis using 24-hour electrocardiographic recordings. In the active group, the baseline time to fall asleep was 32.3 minutes, which was reduced to 19.1 after Gabadone administration (P = 0.01, n = 9). In the placebo group, the baseline latency time was 34.8 minutes compared with 33.1 minutes after placebo (P = nonsignificant, n = 9). The difference was statistically significant (P = 0.02). In the active group, the baseline duration of sleep was 5.0 hours (mean), whereas after Gabadone, the duration of sleep increased to 6.83 (P = 0.01, n = 9). In the placebo group, the baseline sleep duration was 7.17 +/- 7.6 compared with 7.11 +/- 3.67 after placebo (P = nonsignificant, n = 9). The difference between the active and placebo groups was significant (P = 0.01). Ease of falling asleep, awakenings, and am grogginess improved. Objective measurement of parasympathetic function as measured by 24-hour heart rate variability improved in the active group compared with placebo. An amino acid preparation containing both GABA and 5-hydroxytryptophan reduced time to fall asleep, decreased sleep latency, increased the duration of sleep, and improved quality of sleep.

PMID: 19417589 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Pressure Optimizer from Jarrow Products

NYBC is now carrying the Jarrow Formulas Pressure Optimizer, which is designed to support healthy blood pressure levels for those already within normal range.

The active components of this formula are: AmealPeptide™ a patented extract of hydrolyzed casein containing two tripeptides clinically studied for their effect on blood pressure; Co Q-10, which supports heart function and acts as an antioxidant to protect cholesterol from oxidation (= forming plaques); L-Theanine, an amino acid found in green tea that is known to promote a state of alert relaxation; and Magnesium to help relax blood vessels.

Cardio-Edge (Douglas Labs): a plant sterol, Sytrinol and pomegranate-based supplement to maintain cardiovascular health and support healthy cholesterol levels

The NYBC co-op has recently added this item in the category of cholesterol management. For a while now we have been interested in the potential of plant sterols for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, and we noted that our well-regarded supplier Douglas had formulated a supplement that incorporates both plant sterols and two other plant-based components that show a potential benefit in cholesterol management.


Cardio-Edge (Douglas Labs). Cardio-Edge is designed to help maintain cardiovascular health and support healthy cholesterol levels. Its significant components are:

Plant sterols (phytosterols) from soy – 200 mg
Sytrinol – 75 mg
Standardized pomegranate extract (fruit; standardized to 40% ellagic acid) – 25 mg

Plant Sterols
Blood cholesterol is derived from the diet and synthesized in the liver. Sterols work by reducing the absorption of both forms of cholesterol–sterols compete with cholesterol for absorption. Sterols and sterol esters can now be found in many foods including orange juice, rice drink, and margarine.

Sytrinol
This is a proprietary extract of polymethoxylated flavones and tocotrienols from citrus and palm fruits. Sytrinol is intended to have the following effects, some of which you can monitor with routine bloodwork to assess its effect for you. These include:

1) Decrease apoprotein B, needed for LDL synthesis
2) Decrease action of an enzyme in the liver that makes triglycerides
3) Inhibit HMG-CoA reductase in the liver

Sytrinol includes a patented combination of citrus PMFs and alpha, delta and gamma tocotrienols derived from palm fruit. Palm tocotrienols have been shown to inhibit HMG CoA reductase, the enzyme responsible for regulating cholesterol synthesis in the liver. Clinical studies in both animals and humans support Sytrinol’s role in reducing total and LDL-cholesterol as well as triglycerides.

In human clinical studies involving hypercholesterolemic subjects, no side effects were observed with four weeks of supplementing with a daily dose of 300 mg of Sytrinol.

Pomegranate
Recent science has been focusing on the cardioprotective aspects of pomegranate. This brightly colored fruit contains numerous cornpounds known for their antioxidant capabilities, including anthocyanidins, catechins, tannins, and gallic and ellagic acids. Research has shown that supplementation with pomegranate juice can decrease macrophage lipid accumulation and cellular cholesterol accumulation in mice. Recently, research in humans has confirmed a beneficial effect of consuming pomegranate juice on parameters such as LDL oxidation, blood pressure, and blood vessel health.

Please let us know if you have questions or comments about this new item on the NYBC list–emails are welcomed at contact@newyorkbuyersclub.org.