The superstar supplement that deflates high blood pressure
If I can, I try to get my nutrients from food sources. But you know as well as I do that the produce and meats readily available at the supermarket aren’t as nutritionally potent as what our grandparents ate. That’s why I supplement…
And marvelous melatonin is one supplement I’m sure not to miss out on — and you shouldn’t either.
I’ve written before about this paleo superstar antioxidant that could save your life. Your body produces it — in the pineal gland — but depending on how long your days are, how much light you are exposed to in the evenings, including light from electronic and computer sources — your body’s own production of melatonin can be compromised.
And you want to get plenty because, not only does melatonin help you sleep better, research has shown melatonin helps you fight diabetes, battle osteoporosis — even take down cancer…
And now, research has found it can deflate your high blood pressure.
Its ability to help lower blood pressure has to do with how melatonin synchronizes your circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm as you know is your body clock—responsible for regulating your sleep and other bodily processes.
Well, the latest research found that in addition to regulating the part of your circadian rhythm connected to sleep, melatonin is also effective at synchronizing disrupted circadian rhythms of your blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature.
Apparently, these rhythms get out of whack the older we get. To test just how effective melatonin could be on getting us back on track, researchers gave a low dose of melatonin (1.5 mg) to 63 seniors around 80 years of age, each night at 10:30 pm for three weeks.
They found that melatonin significantly reduced blood pressure for these seniors — and the timing was very important to these results. Specifically, the maximum systolic BP lowering effect of melatonin fell between 3am and 8am. This time period just happens to coincide with the highest risk of heart attacks and strokes.
And the higher the mean systolic BP was during the first week, the more significant drop the participants experience in the second week.
That’s great news, in my opinion. My blood pressure lowered greatly when I cut grains out of my diet and lost a lot of weight several years back (here’s how I did it). But I have friends that, despite diet and medication, battle resistant blood pressure…
That means that little seems to help get their numbers where they should be. Anytime you are on prescription meds you should consult with your doctor about adding supplements (especially if you take blood thinners). But I would think that melatonin, which appears to have little in the way of side effects, could be especially helpful in this situation — especially since the American Heart Association lists sleep problems as one of four potential reason for having resistant blood pressure.
Many pharmaceuticals can lower your natural melatonin levels in your body including NSAIDs (ibuprofen and naproxen), beta-blockers, hormone replacement therapies and birth control. Even caffeine and vitamin B12 can lower melatonin. So supplementing is definitely something to think about considering all of the potential health benefits.