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Heart Medicine for High Blood Pressure Recalled

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

The blood pressure medicine losartan, sold under the brand name Hyzaar, has tested positive for a suspected carcinogen used in gasoline, and is being voluntarily recalled by its Chinese maker. This makes the second blood pressure pill recall since July, Fox 59 said. The earlier drug, valsartan, was tainted with a suspected carcinogen used to make liquid rocket fuel, and is a byproduct of manufacturing some pesticides and processing fish.

Fox 59 clarified that not all valsartan is recalled, and the latest recall entails less than 1 percent of the total losartan on the market. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is in the process of testing all products containing valsartan and similar drugs, maintains a list of recalls on its website.

The rocket fuel chemical that spurred the valsartan recall in the U.S. and 22 other countries is called N-nitrosodimethylamine, but what really matters, whether you’re talking about rocket fuel or a gasoline stabilizer, is the fact that there are many ways to lower your blood pressure naturally.

Granted, if your blood pressure is high, you may need short-term medication to avoid an acute problem, but it would be in your best interest to address your lifestyle as well, especially through your diet.

One of the most important dietary changes is to eliminate or dramatically reduce sugar, especially processed fructose, in your diet. This will help you address insulin and leptin resistance, both of which contribute to high blood pressure.

Next, cut out unhealthy fats, including all trans fats or hydrogenated fats such as margarines, vegetable oils, butter-like spreads and baked goods. Take note that a type of fat you may need more of is animal-based omega-3, as research shows that those with the highest serum levels of omega-3 also have the lowest blood pressure readings.

Another food that has been found to have a beneficial effect on blood pressure is beets. In one small placebo-controlled trial, one glass (250 milliliters or 8.5 ounces) of beetroot juice per day for one month reduced blood pressure in those diagnosed with hypertension by an average of 8 mmHg systolic and 4 mmHg diastolic pressure.

The beneficial effects are related to the nitrate found in beetroot juice. Your body converts the nitrate into bioactive nitrite followed by nitric oxide (NO), which helps relax and dilate your blood vessels, and helps prevent blood clots. Other vegetables high in nitrates include arugula, butter leaf lettuce and spring greens, but the absolute richest source of nitrate is fermented beets.

Keep in mind that several factors can play into the accuracy of your blood pressure reading, so to be as accurate as possible, make sure the measuring cuff size is right for your arm’s circumference; that it’s situated properly on your arm; and that your body position is correct. The proper position is to have your feet flat on the floor, back supported in a chair, legs uncrossed for at least five minutes and your arm supported while sitting.