High blood pressure - hypertension could be linked to THIS deficiency

High blood pressure can put pressure on the organs - including the heart.

The condition can lead to stroke or heart attack, and can even damage the kidneys and eyes.

Experts have said that when high blood pressure is not controlled, it doesn’t stay high at one level and it can spiral higher and higher.

This can influence heart attack risk. Experts believe this pattern could occur because high blood pressure causes nitric oxide to stop being released.

Nitric oxide is an important regulator of blood pressure.

Nitric oxide is a gas produced naturally by the body and carried in the blood.

If nitric oxide isn’t produce then causes a vicious circle of increased nitric oxide deprivation and even higher blood pressure which can’t be easily controlled.

The study, which was conducted on rates at University California Irvine College of Medicine, found that high blood pressure causes a rise in blood pressure can increase molecules called free radicals which prevent nitric oxide from working and increase blood pressure further.

Beetroot is a rich source of nitrates which are rapidly converted into nitrites and absorbed into the body’s circulation.

These nitrites are used to make nitric oxide which has a powerful dilating effect on blood vessels to lower blood pressure.

Drinking 250ml beetroot juice a day can lower blood pressure by 7.7/5.2mmHg – better than some antihypertensive drugs, research shows.

Eating 100g cooked or grated raw beetroot has the same effect.

Experts have previously said sitting outside in the sun could help lower blood pressure - because the sun can intensify the levels of nitric oxide being produced, which causes blood vessels to dilate.

Martin Feelisch, a professor of experimental medicine and integrative biology at the University of Southampton, analysed the effect of nitric oxide on blood pressure.

“Nitric oxide, along with its breakdown products, known to be abundant in skin, is involved in the regulation of blood pressure,” he said.

“When exposed to sunlight, small amounts of NO are transferred from the skin to the circulation, lowering blood vessel tone; as blood pressure drops, so does the risk of heart attack and stroke.”

Doctors prescribe medication to treat high blood pressure, including ACE inhibitors, Angiotensin receptor blockers and calcium channel blockers.

High blood pressure can also be lowered by taking regular exercise, quitting smoking and eating healthily.


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