Alternative Health Trends for 2012

Explore the benefits of the next wave of popular alternative health treatments and supplements available to you now.

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The Next Big Thing for Blood Pressure: Bonito Peptide Supplements

Information provided by Bryce Wylde, Bsc, RNC, DHMHS, Alternative Medicine Expert and Host "Wylde on Health"

Approximately 20% of North Americans have high blood pressure, or hypertension. Hypertension is a serious condition in which increased blood flow exerts undue pressure and stress against the walls of the blood vessels. As the most common primary diagnosis in the US, hypertension accounts for more than 35 million physician office visits per year. Uncontrolled hypertension can lead to an increased risk of serious health conditions, including congestive heart failure, heart attack, stroke, atherosclerosis, brain damage, vision loss, and kidney failure among other things.

The typical mindset is that we aren’t worried until we have a blood pressure reading high enough that our physician is required to react by intervening with prescription medication. But with a blood pressure cuff in every pharmacy these days and all of the available information on how to achieve and maintain ideal body weight and composition through diet, lifestyle and exercise, we need to start taking the responsibility upon ourselves to keep and maintain optimal blood pressure. You don’t want to resort to prescription medication when recent research shows that only 34% of individuals with hypertension respond favorably to drug treatment.

When prescription medications are required, the way some of them work is to inhibit the activity of an enzyme called angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) and they have been shown to lower blood pressure effectively and be relatively safe. But they can be accompanied by numerous side effects, including dry cough, dizziness lightheadedness, headaches, and impotence. As a result, individuals with high blood pressure have turned to natural alternatives known to lower blood pressure, such as increasing exercise, decreasing stress, implementing favorable dietary modifications, and integrating dietary supplements into their daily regimen.

An effective natural supplement to consider is the extract of the Bonito fish. Bonito (Sarda orientalis) is a fish belonging to the tuna and mackerel family that is traditionally consumed in Japan. Japanese researchers have identified a patented process to isolate specific active bonito peptides (separated proteins) with demonstrated blood pressure-lowering effects in animals and humans. These peptides – not to be confused with fish oils – work similarly to ACE inhibitor drugs but without the side effects.