Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fructose Part of BP Drivers

It has long been known that by controlling carbs, one can also reduce high blood pressure AND the other markers of metabolic syndrome - hyperinsulinemia, high triglicerides, low HDL, and a high A1c reading.  In other words, high blood pressure is a correlate of metabolic syndrome.  This piece from Dr. Mercola's blog highlights how fructose exacerbates the processes that result in high blood pressure.  Short version - don't eat or drink too much fructose or other carbohydrates.  Sure, fructose and other sugars are 'natural', but so is water and too much of that will kill you too.  It appears that the purpose of fructose in the ancestral diet was to help paleolithic peoples fatten up for the winter, and perhaps to work in conjunction with other signals, like daylight length, to drive reproductive hormones to a peak in the late summer.  Thus, eating fructose in large quantities, and year around, is a contributor to the diseases of civilization.

"As explained by Dr. Rosedale, insulin stores magnesium, but if your insulin receptors are blunted and your cells grow resistant to insulin, you can’t store magnesium so it passes out of your body through urination. Magnesium stored in your cells relaxes muscles.
If your magnesium level is too low, your blood vessels will constrict rather than relax, which will raise your blood pressure and decrease your energy level.
"Insulin also affects your blood pressure by causing your body to retain sodium. Sodium retention causes fluid retention. Fluid retention in turn causes high blood pressure, and can ultimately lead to congestive heart failure.
"If your hypertension is the direct result of an out-of-control blood sugar level, then normalizing your blood sugar levels will also bring your blood pressure readings into the healthy range."
"...the average American now consumes 70 grams of fructose EVERY day!
Fructose breaks down into a variety of waste products that are bad for your body, one of which is uric acid. Uric acid drives up your blood pressure by inhibiting the nitric oxide in your blood vessels. Nitric oxide helps your vessels maintain their elasticity, so nitric oxide suppression leads to increases in blood pressure.
"In fact, 17 out of 17 studies demonstrate that elevated uric acid levels lead to hypertension."
Dr. Mercola's Recommendation:
"As a standard recommendation, I strongly advise keeping your TOTAL fructose consumption below 25 grams per day. Since the average 12-ounce can of soda contains 40 grams of sugar, at least half of which is fructose, this can of soda ALONE would exceed your daily allotment.
"In addition, most people would be wise to also limit the amount of fructose you get from fruit to 15 grams or less, because you’re virtually guaranteed to consume “hidden” sources of fructose (typically in the form of high fructose corn syrup) from most beverages and just about any processed food you eat.
"Fifteen grams of fructose is not much -- it represents two bananas, one-third cup of raisins, or just two Medjool dates. In his book,The Sugar Fix, Dr. Johnson includes detailed tables showing the content of fructose in different foods, but for a sampling of the fructose content of several common fruits, please see this link."

See also:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20595676

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