Politics! Blood Pressure! & More!

With recent and ongoing political squabbles, here and abroad, you might feel like you have had enough!  People say “It makes my blood boil”. If you are really upset, politics might make you feel like your blood pressure is going up.  And maybe it does but it is hard to measure. However, you are more likely to feel it if you are already dealing with elevated blood pressure.

Anger and excitement release adrenaline.  Too much adrenaline puts a lot of stress on your arteries. Normally, vessels repair the arterial damage with plaque.  Plaque reinforces weak areas of the vessels. Chemicals in your blood clean up a lot of that plaque where it becomes excessive, but as we age plaque accumulates and can lead to arteriosclerosis.  In arteriosclerosis, the veins are stiffer and clogged making it hard for the heart to pump blood and causing our pressure goes up.

Some researchers believe that all plaque starts out with tiny blood clots.  Therefore, basic to the internal cleanup is a normal enzyme, plasmin, that scrubs out the clots.  The process is called “thrombolysis” (from “thrombos”—lump and “lysis”—loosen). For instance, if you get a nosebleed or an injury, plasmin does not interfere with the necessary clotting that you need to start the fixing, but after you heal, it helps get rid of unneeded clots.

Plasmin is unique.  No other body chemical is known to do the same job; however, there are some nutritional substances that can bolster its work.  Important among these are papain, the enzyme from papaya, bromelain from pineapple and nattokinase. This last (not actually an enzyme but a real artery cleaner) comes from fermented soy beans, well known in traditional diets of Japan.  Nattokinase may be the most powerful of our clot-busting friends. I’m excited about it because after a long absence, it has again become available in Canada. It is not an over-the-counter supplement, at least for now, but it is available for licensed health practitioners who can supervise its use.  I’m looking forward to adding this tool when my clients consult me about blood pressure. I have found no reports whatsoever about undesirable secondary effects; still, some caution and supervision is sensible because long term use has not been studied a lot. Possibly some official nervousness results from confusion with aspirin (which works in a completely different way) or with prescription “blood thinners”.   The regulation of health products is often mysterious to me, but I won’t go into that. You already told me you had enough of politics!

Comments or questions? Write to Nicole@IndividualCare.com.   Nicole Constant is a registered Doctor of Naturopathy. Her website is:  www.IndividualCare.CA.

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