Friday, September 2, 2011

HEALTH: High Blood Pressure and melatonin

Further conversation with vegetarian HBP friend:

I came across this about MELATONIN and HBP in -

  • People with hypertension tend to have lower levels of a hormone called melatonin than those with normal blood pressure, and some fail to experience the normal nighttime decrease in blood pressure. In limited studies, melatonin supplements (2.5 milligrams at bedtime) lowered nighttime blood pressure significantly in men with high blood pressure. However, further clinical studies are necessary before melatonin can be recommended to hypertensive patients.
Instead of taking a chemical/drug form of melatonin, here is a list of herbs/foods that contain it:

Now I understand one of the reasons why I find a banana smoothie is calming at night before going to sleep! Even though bananas only contain .5mg of melatonin, it's still effective. The potassium content no doubt helps... and who knows, maybe there is some magical effect in melatonin combined with potassium.

Potassium also helps in reducing HBP. Potato, spinach, cantaloupe and bananas are all high in potassium.

Potassium/sodium balance:
"Newer evidence suggests that dietary potassium may play a role in decreasing blood pressure. Potassium is involved in nerve function, muscle control and blood pressure. A diet low in potassium and high in sodium may be a factor in high blood pressure. Increasing potassium in the diet may protect against hypertension in people who are sensitive to high levels of sodium.
"... However, taking potassium supplements is generally not recommended for people with highblood pressure. Instead, a variety of potassium-rich foods should be eaten daily."
(From this website:

BEET JUICE every day is a remedy for HBP. There are even studies on it! (What about getting that wonderful Swiss beetroot drink - fermented, I think - to vary your fresh beet juice...)

Good luck - I'm sure you'll find something if you keep experimenting!