Q&A With the Doctor about Prehypertension
The answers to the following questions are general. Because every individual is unique, you should consult with your own physician regarding how to best manage your blood pressure.
WHAT IS A DIETARY SUPPLEMENT?
"A dietary supplement is a substance intended to supplement the diet and to support, maintain or promote good health. Dietary supplements contain one or more of the following ingredients: a vitamin, a mineral, an herb or other botanical, an amino acid, a peptide (a small chain of amino acids), or a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or combinations of these ingredients."
ARE THERE DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS THAT HELP SUPPORT A HEALTHY BLOOD PRESSURE?
"The study of dietary supplements that support, maintain or promote healthy blood pressure is in its early stages. The most promising dietary supplements in this regard are small peptides that affect a central biochemical reaction in the major pathway for the regulation of blood pressure. AmealPeptide® is such a substance that can be found at your drugstore in AmealBP®."
WHAT IS AMEAL PEPTIDE®?
"AmealPeptide® is a naturally derived substance comprised of two small peptides, which are absorbed by the body when ingested. These peptides block a central biochemical reaction in the pathway that regulates blood pressure. Blocking this biochemical reaction may help to lower an elevated blood pressure, even at borderline elevated blood pressure. AmealPeptide® is derived from certain milk proteins. You should also know that some of the most important blood pressure-lowering drugs are also based on small peptides."
CAN I TAKE AMEALBP® IF I AM ALREADY ON MEDICATION FOR MY BP
"Yes, however you must understand that AmealBP® is not a potent blood pressure-lowering substance. Therefore, if your blood pressure needs significant lowering in spite of the fact that you are already on a blood pressure-lowering medication, your doctor will likely add another potent blood-pressure lowering agent or switch you to a different medication to get your blood pressure under better control. However, if your blood-pressure needs just a little lowering to reach your desired blood pressure goal, then AmealBP® might be appropriate to take in addition to your medication. AmealBP® is not known to interact with any prescription medications."
ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS?
"To date, no significant side effects have been observed in those taking AmealBP®."
WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND IF MY BLOOD PRESSURE IS PREHYPERTENSIVE?
"If your blood pressure is prehypertensive, JNC 7 guidelines recommend initiating dietary changes (decrease your caloric intake, increase your intake of potassium, magnesium, and calcium-rich foods, and stop using the salt shaker), beginning a regular exercise regimen that you would stay on, if you are not already on one, and starting a trial of a dietary supplement that is supported by at least some credible clinical studies. A number of clinical studies performed suggest that AmealBP® might be a good candidate for the dietary supplement."
WHEN WOULD I USE A DIETARY SUPPLEMENT INSTEAD OF PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION?
"If your blood pressure falls in the prehypertensive range, between 120/80 and 139/89, or if you happen to be at risk for cardiovascular disease or stroke, even if your blood pressure is normal, I would recommend that you make the dietary changes I mentioned in the answer to your previous question and consider taking a dietary supplement that is backed by credible clinical studies."
IF I FALL INTO PREHYPERTENSIVE RANGE, SHOULD I BE CONCERNED?
"Research has shown that anyone with blood pressure levels slightly above normal (120/80) are at higher risk for hypertension and cardiovascular disease. The Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC) recently labeled slightly elevated blood pressure as prehypertensive so that people are aware that they need to start getting their blood pressure under control even if their blood pressure is only slightly elevated."
IF I FEEL HEALTHY DOES THAT MEAN I DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT MY BP
"Many people with elevated blood pressure do not feel a thing but that does not mean that there is nothing to worry about. Even if your blood pressure is slightly above normal you are at higher risk for hypertension and cardiovascular disease. However, if you catch it soon enough, you can control your blood pressure with lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise, and possibly a dietary supplement."
IS HYPERTENSION GENETIC?
"Hypertension is generally genetic. Anyone who has a family member with high blood pressure or hypertension is more likely to develop high blood pressure. However, that does not mean that you cannot control it with some lifestyle adjustments. If high blood pressure runs in your family make sure to get your blood pressure checked regularly and ask your doctor what you can do to help keep your blood pressure in a normal range."
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I GET MY BP CHECKED?
"I recommend that you have regular annual exams, especially if you are over 35. If you are prehypertensive you should get your blood pressure checked every 4-6 months so that your doctor can monitor any significant changes and help you make adjustments to bring your blood pressure down to a normal range."
SHOULD I TRY A DIETARY SUPPLEMENT BEFORE PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION?
"Since many patients do not feel sick they do not want to take medication for their high blood pressure. However, many patients find a healthy diet and regular exercise routine hard to follow. Natural dietary supplements are much more acceptable to many patients. It is important that the dietary supplements used have been shown to be effective in good clinical studies. One such supplement that has been tested is ameal bp® that works like a drug without the side effects. AmealPeptide®, the naturally derived, active ingredient in ameal bp® has been tested in good clinical trials and provides prehypertensive patients with a natural alternative."
HOW SHOULD I TREAT PREHYPERTENSION?
"Treatment varies from one patient to another. I would be more aggressive with prehypertensive patients that also have high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, or a family history of any of these conditions. It is very important for these patients to maintain blood pressure levels at the low end of the healthy range. If a patient has slightly elevated blood pressure but no other risk factors I will recommend a good diet, regular aerobic exercise and advise them to come in often for checkups."
WHAT CAN I DO IN MY DAILY LIFE TO HELP MAINTAIN MY BLOOD PRESSURE?
"It is important to maintain a low fat, low calorie diet high in potassium, magnesium, and calcium, and low in salt. You should also try to fit in thirty minutes of aerobic exercise four times a week. Some examples of aerobic exercise are: walking, dancing, jogging, bicycling, skating, swimming, yard work, house work. Even if you cannot find thirty minutes a day, any amount of physical activity is beneficial. In addition to a healthy diet and regular exercise, natural agents, with scientific basis that have been shown to lower blood pressure may be an alternative first step prior to starting antihypertensive drugs."