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Is This "Silent Killer" Stalking Your Body?

There’s a “silent killer” that could be slowly destroying your health…and you may not even know it!
The reason it’s so dangerous is that there are usually no symptoms – until it’s too late and the damage to your health has been done. It’s scary stuff, to be sure. But the good news is there are PLENTY of things you can do naturally (without side effects) that will keep this “silent killer” from rearing its ugly head.
So what is this “silent killer?” High-blood pressure!

You already know how dangerous it is for your heart…
For example, a 2011 Harvard Alumni Health Study found high-blood pressure to be one of the most accurate predictors of cardiovascular disease. [1]
But did you know that high-blood pressure can affect more than just your heart?It’s true. This “silent killer” can affect your body’s vital organs – things like your brain, eyes, and kidneys. This is because all these organs depend on blood flow. And when there is a constant, increased pressure on the lining of your arterial walls, over time this can lead to damage and hardening of the arteries… which creates a blood flow problem! This is why high-blood pressure is commonly linked to heart-disease. Of course, your heart isn’t the only organ that your arteries supply with blood. That’s why the arterial damage caused by chronic hypertention (high-blood pressure) can also create problems for your brain, leading to an aneurysm or stroke. In addition, it can also cause kidney failure, kidney scarring, and damage to your eye’s blood vessels (known as retinopathy).
This is why it’s critical you take preventative steps to ensure your blood pressure is on the lower end of the “healthy” range (anything less than 120/80mmHg). Why the lower range?Because if you’re on the upper end of what’s considered “normal,” chances are you’re already starting to experience the negative health effects of high-blood pressure, known as pre-hypertension.
For example, a 2003 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that your risk of cardiovascular disease DOUBLES for every 20/10 mmHg increase in blood pressure over 115/75 mmHg! [2]
Bottom line: To stay healthy well into your “Golden Years,” it’s important you take steps to keep those blood pressure numbers low.
Of course eating a healthy diet that’s relatively low in salt can help, along with regular exercise. But you can also keep it under control using these three all-natural, blood-pressure “all stars” …
1. Hawthorn – the leaves and berries of this thorny shrub have been literally used for centuries (as far back as the 1st century!) to treat heart ailments. In one study, participants who took 1,200 mg of hawthorn had lower blood pressure than those taking a placebo. [3] You can find hawthorn berry extract at your local health food store.
2. Garlic – Yes, this tasty herb can do more than “spice” things up in the kitchen. A study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the sulfides in garlic are able to relax blood vessel tension by up to 72 percent! [4] You can choose to eat 1 – 2 fresh cloves a day – or if you’d prefer fresher breath, take it in supplement form.
3. Olive leaf -This is the “new kid” on the block as far as all-natural blood-pressure reducers go. Researchers have discovered that a bioactive compound in the olive leaf, known as oleuropein, can be effective at lowering both systolic AND diastolic blood pressure. One study in Phytomedicinefound that olive leaf can reduce systolic blood pressure (top number) by an average of 11.5 points (mm Hg) and diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure by 4.8 points. [5] You can find olive leaf extract in supplement form at your local health food store.
Finally, the next best thing you can do for your blood pressure is to RELAX. Do whatever you can to reduce your stress and worry. You probably already know all too well how getting into a fit of anger or panic can quickly send your pressure soaring sky high!
Remember, your overall health is just as important as your fitness and the “look” of your body. So make sure the “inner you” is looking just as good as the “outer you” by keeping that high-blood pressure at bay.
[1] Gray L, Lee IM, Sesso HD, Batty GD. Blood pressure in early adulthood, hypertension in middle age, and future cardiovascular disease mortality: HAHS (Harvard Alumni Health Study. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011 Nov 29;58(23):2396-403.
[2] Chobanian AV, Bakris GL, Black HR, et al. Seventh report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure. JAMA. 2003 May 21;289(1):2560-75.
[3] Walker AF, Marakis G, Simpson E, et al. Hypotensive effects of hawthorn for patients with diabetes taking prescription drugs: a randomised controlled trial. Br J Gen Pract. 2006;56(527):437-43..
[4] Benavides G, et al. “ the Cover: Hydrogen sulfide mediates the vasoactivity of garlic,“ PNAS 2007 104: 17977-17982. .
[5] Susalit E, Agus N, Effendi I, et al. Olive (Olea europaea) leaf extract effective in patients with stage-1 hypertension: comparison with captopril. Phytomedicine. 2011 Feb 15;18(4):251-8.