Patients turn their backs on drugs for natural therapies for high blood pressure
Patient power is starting to change the way that doctors treat high blood pressure (hypertension). Turning their back on conventional drugs, patients are forcing doctors to evaluate and accept safer alternatives that work just as well.
“Right now we’re seeing a cultural shift where an increasing number of people want to avoid standard pharmaceuticals,” says Prof John Bisognano of the University of Rochester Medical Center.
He has evaluated the evidence for the drug alternatives that patients are already using in favour of drugs.
In his report, Bisognano says:
• Coenzyme Q10, an enzyme that has anti-oxidant qualities, significantly reduces blood pressure;
• Potassium is another antihypertensive, which patients can access from the foods they eat as well as from supplements;
• Mistletoe extract, a therapy from Traditional Chinese Medicine, has a positive effect in animal studies, but one that may not translate into humans. Hawthorn extract has a mildly positive effect;
(Source: Journal of Clinical Hypertension, 2011; doi: 10.1111/j.1751-7176.2011.00524).