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  1. #1
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    Default Advice on Best OTC Supplements/ideas for Blood Pressure Control/Sympatholysis

    [Okay, I am a newbie here and created a somewhat controversial, confusing, unappealingly meandering and unfocused post last time, and also acted over-emotional, so hopefully all of that is in the past...]

    My question is...What are the best over-the-counter supplements (or I guess even complementary/"herbal" possibilities) for control of blood pressure and general sympatholysis (and anxiolysis I guess as well)? But the main factor I am focusing on here is CONTROL OF BLOOD PRESSURE, but I realize anxiolysis, sympatholysis are all intermixed...

    The question is simply that and is not directly related to hypothetical usage of psychostimulants. As everyone knows from my last chaotic post, I am a prescribed user of medicinal dextroamphetamine for co-morbid ADHD-non-typical depression, but I am asking a slightly related but separate question here.

    (I imagine this question might have been asked before, so instead of calling me an idiot I would appreciate it sincerely if anyone could point me to such a thread(s), if such exist.)

    I soak up knowledge easily... I even compiled a list of what others have (indirectly) suggested in other threads (excluding pharmaceuticals):

    *Pomegranate Extract

    *SAM-e

    *Phenibut

    *L-Tyrosine (??)

    *Turmeric-Curcumin

    *Fish Oil

    *Whey Protein

    *Nitric Stack supplement?

    Would anyone of more elevated erudition than me know of any more, or more effective ones?

    I took one of the forum-member's advice about Curcumin for its sympatholytic effects, but in all honesty Turmeric-Curcumin did absolutely nothing for me in terms of blood pressure reduction, sympatholysis, or anxiolysis. I was sorely disappointed. I am just being honest here, not trying to quarrel.

    --There is no pressure to answer my probably "greenhorn" question immediately, I am well-aware I am a newbie clodhopper basically (though I have recently enrolled in neuroscience and pharmacology classes in college!) and whenever the more erudite have the time, I would appreciate it if there is any knowledge to share.

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    The "quality" (?) nitric stack contains usually L-arginine and a-ketoglutarate in some form, in addition to other stuff, but these two seem to be the main ingredients affecting BLOOD PRESSURE (the subject of my inquiry) as OTC quasi-vasodilators... Am I thinking correctly?

    "Citrulline" has also come up in these nitric stacks as a potential quasi-hemodilator/vasodilator, interlinked to its relationship with l-arginine, but is there any solid scientific backing for its positive cardiovascular effects? I have talked to a pharmacist who stated Citrulline doesn't cut it scientifically at this point at least, despite its popularity amongst body-builders, etc.

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    I am in my early mid-twenties, and truly only have pre-hypertension, or borderline hypertension or episodic hypertension at worst; so while I am not a priori opposed to pharmaceutical anti-hypertensives, I do not believe the situation for me is at that point yet and if I act intelligently and almost "pre-prophylactically" now (coordinate my complicated pharmaceutical regimen correctly with my doctor; live healthy; study "independent" or creative methods of self-improvement, etc.) I will never truly need anti-hypertensive medication, except perhaps if I choose to take it gratuitously for my own pharmacological-interactive reasons... I am seeking creative, out-of-the-box solutions, is all, and don't want to be a vassal to the big pharmaceutical companies unless I really have to... I realize some l-arginine or pomegranate supplement is not going to be the Holy Grail, but all relevant knowledge is valuable to me...

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ex Dubio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utlagatus View Post
    My question is...What are the best over-the-counter supplements (or I guess even complementary/"herbal" possibilities) for control of blood pressure and general sympatholysis (and anxiolysis I guess as well)? But the main factor I am focusing on here is CONTROL OF BLOOD PRESSURE, but I realize anxiolysis, sympatholysis are all intermixed...
    Why OTC? There are several Rx drugs with few to no side effects that manage blood pressure very well. ACE inhibitors and ARBs come to mind as being particularly effective and free of side effects, but older drugs like beta blockers and alpha-2 agonists are fair game too. These are all very, very cheap drugs as well.

    I soak up knowledge easily... I even compiled a list of what others have (indirectly) suggested in other threads (excluding pharmaceuticals):

    *Pomegranate Extract

    *SAM-e

    *Phenibut

    *L-Tyrosine (??)

    *Turmeric-Curcumin

    *Fish Oil

    *Whey Protein

    *Nitric Stack supplement?
    Kind of odd advice.

    Pomegranate has some studies on vasodilatory properties, and may reduce blood pressure.

    SAMe, depending on dozens of factors, seems at least as likely to increase BP as it is to reduce it. Enhanced 5-HT and NE synthesis is not conducive to reduced BP.

    L-tyrosine, at least combined with caffeine or other stimulants, acts as a stimulant itself. Much more likely to increase BP than reduce it, again.

    Curcumin, being an MAOI, also is at least as likely to increase BP as it is to reduce it. There's no obvious mechanism for curcumin reducing BP, either.

    Fish oil is probably not going to have a substantial effect one way or another. Same goes for whey protein.

    L-arginine might have some effects, but I recall that its effects may attenuate with time.

    Would anyone of more elevated erudition than me know of any more, or more effective ones?
    I'd do a search on ARBs (i.e. angiotensin receptor [1] blockers, e.g. candesartan), as they have nice benefits in terms of anxiety, reduce blood pressure, and are cheap.

    I took one of the forum-member's advice about Curcumin for its sympatholytic effects, but in all honesty Turmeric-Curcumin did absolutely nothing for me in terms of blood pressure reduction, sympatholysis, or anxiolysis. I was sorely disappointed. I am just being honest here, not trying to quarrel.
    Well, its effects vary highly depending on the individual, which is probably related to genetic factors controlling both its absorption and its effects on MAOI. You may have also just gotten a poor source, as some formulations seem more poorly absorbed than others.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Benson's Avatar
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    IME, there is nothing OTC that works very well or is nearly as cost effective as something like lisonopril.

    However, if you are bent on using something OTC, beet juice is probably your best bet.
    Remember, believe none of what you hear and half of what you see...





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    Thank you Benson for the tip about beet-juice and Lisinopril; and as always, thank you Ex Dubio for patiently instructing the exoterically non-initiated (but learning quickly and all the time!) such as me with my amateurish questions.

    I appreciate you analyzing, almost one item by one, the rough list I compiled from other forum-members' suggestions--I did indeed suspect some of the OTC supplements were not "ideally advisable" in relation to my inquiry, to put it softly...

    Ex Dubio, I trust and heed your counsel; I am not dogmatically opposed to pharmaceutical anti-hypertensives/vasodilators, I only wanted to avoid them if possible for convenience and other reasons. Your suggestions as to anti-hypertensives I am seriously taking under advisement. (I am not a Communist with a vendetta against "big pharmacy", just wanted to make things simpler if practicable...but it really is no big deal in the end.) The esteemed consensus (Ex Dubio, Benson) seems to be OTC vasodilatory supplements are pretty weak and sucky overall, and the pharmaceutical path is the way to go if I am serious. Roger that and thanks.

    In any case, in the meantime, I did conduct further research on OTC possibilities for BP/cardiovascular-type problems, and for the sake of documentation and/or helping others I will share my small batch of "discoveries"--even if they generally suck and only help marginally or at best moderately with BP-related/cardiovascular issues:

    *Alpha-Linolenic Acid

    *Bioflavonoids; Flavanols

    *Blond Psyllium (Plantago ovata)

    *Garlic

    *Niacin & derivatives, e.g. Inositol Nicotinate

    *Olive Oil

    *Pycnogenol (maritime pine bark extract)

    *Theobromine

    *Vincamine-->Vinpocetine

  7. #7
    Senior Member noos's Avatar
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    How high is your BP and how permanent?
    Have you tried magnesium, reduced salt, potassium?
    If you really have a problem please see a doctor, HBP is serious and can be related to kidney or other problems.
    Why would you prefer to use garlic or potassium salt like when there were not even beta blockers if you have a serious problem and risk your life?
    Last edited by noos; June 14th, 2011 at 05:22 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by noos View Post
    How high is your BP and how permanent?
    Have you tried magnesium, reduced salt, potassium?
    If you really have a problem please see a doctor, HBP is serious and can be related to kidney or other problems.
    Why would you prefer to use garlic or potassium salt like when there were not even beta blockers if you have a serious problem and risk your life?
    noos: do not worry, and I appreciate your concern irregardless. My blood pressure and general health is totally stable, scientifically.

    My personality is very speculative-minded and prophylactically-minded (perhaps to a fault?). I am almost pre-prophylactic and self-consciously "hypervigilant" mentally. I imagine some of this stems from traumatic and bloody experiences in my childhood, to be frank and open.

    I only put the list of what I "discovered" just for the sake of doing it and further documenting cardio-positive OTC supplements...not because I am a superstitious believer in the magical power of Garlic or Olive oil...

    Of course, being of sound mind, I would take beta-blockers or whatever the professionals wanted to give me if I ever became truly sick. I am not even close to being at that stage yet, however.

    My BP readings are variable based DIRECTLY on my emotions, to be honest. When I am not confronted or harassed by social annoyances and am at peace in my room, it ranges around 120/80. On the other hand, in a "fight-or-flight" scenario (which my current life-situation makes unavoidable sometimes), my BP can shoot up to stage 2 hypertension; but returns to normal when the external environmental stressor is removed. How should this be described, diagnostically? I really don't know how to describe my blood pressure situation--"intermittent episodic borderline hypertension", analogous to the psychiatric "intermittent explosive disorder"--that's funny... My "fight-or-flight" reaction is over-powerful and over-reactive in the extreme I do know for a fact, for whatever reasons (past traumatic history?--I witnessed family members slaughtered in front of my eyes at a young age; genetics? I am the blood-descendant of Sicilian-Norman soldier-nobles, if that is relevant, lol), but it is only transiently mildly destructive and furthermore controllable by my mind and will. I don't know how to describe my blood pressure, neither do my doctors really, but I do know I'm not psychotic, psychopathic, resistant to rational help on the part of anyone, including doctors, and I am not in any medical crisis...and I appreciate your concern.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Benson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utlagatus View Post
    My BP readings are variable based DIRECTLY on my emotions, to be honest. When I am not confronted or harassed by social annoyances and am at peace in my room, it ranges around 120/80. On the other hand, in a "fight-or-flight" scenario (which my current life-situation makes unavoidable sometimes), my BP can shoot up to stage 2 hypertension; but returns to normal when the external environmental stressor is removed.
    Diagnostically, this is known as normal. Your BP is variable and your body makes adjustments depending on what sort of stresses you are under. When I DL, my BP probably shoots up to to something like 240/160 but it quickly returns to normal when I am done...sometimes almost too quickly...

    If the only time your BP is elevated is when you are under high levels of emotional or physical stress and it does not remain elevated afterwards, I'd say you don't need to be worried about it.
    Remember, believe none of what you hear and half of what you see...





  10. #10
    Senior Member Ex Dubio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benson View Post
    Diagnostically, this is known as normal. Your BP is variable and your body makes adjustments depending on what sort of stresses you are under. When I DL, my BP probably shoots up to to something like 240/160 but it quickly returns to normal when I am done...sometimes almost too quickly...

    If the only time your BP is elevated is when you are under high levels of emotional or physical stress and it does not remain elevated afterwards, I'd say you don't need to be worried about it.
    This, a million times over.

    In general, chronically elevated BP -- including, e.g., when you're sleeping -- can lead to progressive problems. But the damage and risk factors are related to how long your BP is at a given value. This is why hypertension indicators are based -- ideally -- on resting BP, when not emotionally aroused.

    I'd say you sound completely healthy.

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