New research recently published in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association concludes that soda and other drinks sweetened with sugar are associated with higher blood pressure. And the more sugar people consumed, the higher their blood pressure spiked upwards.
The International Study of Macro/Micronutrients and Blood Pressure (dubbed INTERMAP, for short), found that research subjects who drank sugar-sweetened beverages daily had significantly higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure on average than folks who didn’t drink sweet drinks. Researchers found the highest blood pressure levels in people who consumed the most glucose and fructose. Both of these sweeteners are found in high-fructose corn syrup, which is the most common sugar sweetener used by the beverage industry.
The researchers also discovered that individuals drinking more than one serving per day of sugar-sweetened beverages consumed almost 400 calories more daily than people who didn’t.
Ian Brown, Ph.D., research associate at Imperial College London, wrote:
“One possible mechanism for sugar-sweetened beverages and fructose increasing blood pressure levels is a resultant increase in the level of uric acid in the blood that may in turn lower the nitric oxide (which is) required to keep the blood vessels dilated. Sugar consumption also has been linked to enhanced sympathetic nervous system activity and sodium retention.”
Paul Elliott, Ph.D., senior author of the study and professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, stated the new research points to a possible intervention to lower blood pressure:
“These findings lend support for recommendations to reduce the intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, as well as added sugars and sodium in an effort to reduce blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health.”
In 1977, a committee headed by U.S. Senator George McGovern held hearings on the national diet. From that meeting it issued a set of dietary guidelines designed to reduce dietary animal fat, which they thought would lower heart disease.
The dietary guidelines led food manufacturers to replace animal fats with processed vegetable fats. The labels on these foods say “low fat” and “heart healthy.” Today we know they’re not healthy at all.
In addition to high intake of sugar, processed vegetable fats, particularly when fried, greatly contribute to sticky blood and inflammation in the arteries.
Refined vegetable fats and sugars cause the oxidation of cholesterol particles, making them small, dense, and sticky. And when the cholesterol particles are small, dense, and sticky, they can easily embed in the linings of the arteries.
That triggers an inflammatory immune response that then starts the plaque-making process. This inflammatory response is the body’s attempt at trying to heal tiny arterial wounds by making scabs.
A scab inside the artery is a rough patch, which attracts more small dense cholesterol particles, triggering more inflammation. And the plaque builds up like a snowdrift. The result is the arteries narrow and blood pressure rises - causing hypertension.
Fat isn’t the enemy - and neither is cholesterol - it’s the oxidizing of cholesterol that is the problem. The human body needs cholesterol for cellular health and the proper functioning of neurotransmitters, bone health, and the production of bile for digestion. The brain cannot function without cholesterol. In fact, several studies have shown people who have low cholesterol die sooner than people with high cholesterol.
A new national study led by UCLA cardiology professor, Dr. Gregg Fonarow, found that 75% of heart attack victims had normal or optimal cholesterol levels according to accepted guidelines.
Medical conditions can also contribute to the development of secondary hypertension. In addition, a number of lifestyle risk factors add fuel to this chemical soup of processed sugar and refined vegetable fats.
Nitric oxide, the very molecule in the body that helps to regulate blood pressure, maintain healthy arteries, help lower bad cholesterol low and help lower triglycerides, decreases with age. By the time you are just 50 you are producing up to 65% less nitric oxide than you did at 20 and this is one of the primary reasons the body ages.
Nitric oxide is well known to lower blood pressure, reduce bad cholesterol, decrease the stickiness of the blood, prevent blood cells from clumping together and help reduce plaque from the arteries.
Sounds like a miracle? It isn’t, even though nitric oxide is often referred to as the “miracle molecule”!
Three American scientists won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1998 for their research in the role of nitric oxide in the body. It is one of the most studied molecules in the world with over 150,000 studies on its effect on human health.
Unfortunately, news of this miracle molecule hasn’t hit mainstream America and not all doctors understand the science and research that has revealed the amazing therapeutic effects nitric oxide has on health.
One of the best methods to increase nitric oxide in your body is to take a well formulated supplement – like Cardio Miracle – to help protect your body against the ravages of decreasing circulation with every passing year. The risks of hypertension, atherosclerosis, heart disease, and stroke can be greatly reduced with a potent nitric oxide supplement, regular exercise, and a diet that minimizes sugar and refined vegetable fats.
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