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Metabolic Aspects of Hypertension

By Dr. Paul C. Eck and Dr. Larry Wilson




During the last 10 years, we have been involved in a research project in an effort to correlate over 100,000 tissue mineral tests with various disease patterns.

In the course of this research, nutritional patterns associated with hypertension emerged, which offer greater understanding and new approaches to the management of this common, but potentially serious condition.

The following data is an updated report of our new understanding of specific causes for what is commonly referred to as 'essential hypertension.’

Hypertension Has Many Causes

It is known in medicine that under the classification of ‘essential hypertension’ there are different types of conditions. Some cases of hypertension are 'labile' or erratic, while other cases are chronic. Some individuals respond favorably to a reduction in salt intake, or weight reduction, while other cases fail to respond.

Utilizing tissue mineral testing method, we have been able to distinguish at least 7 separate causes for hypertension. By identifying which causative factors are operative, treatment can be made more precise and effective.

Causes Of Hypertension

Causes of hypertension can be divided into those related to a kidney dysfunction and those related to arterial changes.

Renal Causes

All of the body's blood flows through the kidneys every three minutes and any change in the rate of flow through the kidneys can have profound effects on blood pressure. Changes in kidney function, which can be identified from a tissue mineral test are:

  • Toxic metal deposition. The most common toxic metal which affects blood pressure is cadmium. However, nickel, mercury and copper toxicity also can affect renal filtration and affect blood pressure.

    See Detoxification to learn about removing heavy metals.
  • Renal calcification. Imbalance in the calcium/magnesium ratio or an elevated calcium level may be associated with deposits of calcium in renal arteries, which may adversely affect blood pressure.
  • Renal arteriosclerosis. Both a low copper and zinc level, or an elevated cadmium level, are associated with a weakening of the arterial walls. The body adaptively responds by coating the arteries with a layer of fatty plaque or calcium, which narrows the arteries consequently causing a rise in blood pressure.
  • Excessive aldosterone secretion. Aldosterone is an adrenal hormone, which causes sodium and fluid retention. While aldosterone levels may be normal on blood tests, slight elevation of aldosterone can cause hypertension as a result of fluid retention.
  • Sodium/potassium imbalance. A low ratio of sodium to potassium on a tissue mineral chart is associated with kidney stress and frequently associated with hypertension. In these cases, there may be changes in the membrane potential of the renal glomeruli, adversely affecting filtration.

Arterial Causes

Causes of hypertension related to general arterial circulation come in two groups:

  • alteration of the tone of the arterial musculature and
  • alteration in the elasticity of the artery walls due to sclerosis or hardening of the arterial walls and/or deposits of fatty substances or calcium plaques which both harden the arteries and narrow them as well.

Arterial Muscle Tone

If the muscular tone of the arteries increases for any reason, blood pressure will rise. Since this tone varies depending on nervous system functioning, this is usually the cause of 'labile' or transient high blood pressure.

On a tissue mineral test we identify several correctable biochemical patterns that are associated with a tendency for increased arterial muscle tone.

Fast Oxidizers

Fast oxidation is an important mineral pattern that is readily identified on the tissue mineral chart. It is defined as a relatively low tissue calcium and magnesium level in relation to sodium and potassium levels.

Excessive Sympathetic Tone

A low level of calcium and magnesium is indicative of dominance of the sympathetic nervous system, which causes a loss of calcium and magnesium from the body.

Calcium and magnesium in optimal amounts relax muscles and nerves. A chronic deficiency of these minerals contributes greatly to the development of hypertension.

High Histamine Levels And Sodium Retention

High histamine levels are also associated with a fast oxidation type of metabolic pattern. Excessive histamine release is a common cause of hypertension.

A fast oxidation pattern is also indicative of a high aldosterone level and consequent retention of sodium. Fluid retention resulting from high sodium levels is a common cause of hypertension.

Imbalance In Neurotransmitters

Certain nutrients, such as copper and manganese stimulate catecholamine production, the sympathetic nervous system neurotransmitters, while others, such as choline, are precursors for the parasympathetic neurotransmitters. Imbalance in these nutrients will affect nervous system function and can increase arterial wall tone.

Zinc Deficiency Weakens Arterial Walls

A deficiency of zinc causes arterial walls to become brittle and inelastic. Inelasticity alone may result in a raise in systolic blood pressure. In addition to a low tissue zinc level, a zinc deficiency should be suspected whenever there is an elevated cadmium level on a tissue mineral analysis chart.

Calcium Or Fat Deposition Due To Weakened Arterial Walls

Zinc deficiency, copper deficiency, or cadmium toxicity, weaken arterial walls and as a compensatory measure, the body may deposit calcium or fatty substances to reinforce arterial strength.

The effect of the plaque is to narrow the arteries and make them more rigid. Both of these effects lead to high blood pressure.

Chromium Deficiency Associated With Plaque Formation

In addition to its association with elevated cholesterol levels, chromium deficiency, a common trace element deficiency, has been associated with plaque development.

Diabetic Atherosclerosis

One consequence of diabetes is atherosclerosis, which can contribute to high blood pressure. Tissue mineral testing can be used to screen for diabetes, alerting the doctor to another possible cause for high blood pressure.

Copyright © 1991 - The Eck Institute of Applied Nutrition and Bioenergetics, Ltd.

2225 W. Alice Avenue ¨ Phoenix, AZ  85021 ¨ (602) 995-1580 ¨ FAX (602) 371-8873


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