You may have noticed that the number of people suffering from gluten intolerance or sensitivity and celiac disease has risen dramatically in recent years. Many researchers are blaming processed foods and the higher level of gluten in today’s baked goods. While these researchers may be right, there’s another surprising culprit that’s causing some of these problems. And it may provide us with an answer to some cases of high blood pressure.
The online journal of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings just published a study that says many cases of celiac could be a side effect of a popular blood pressure drug. According to the article, olmesartan, which you may know by the brand name Benicar, causes some people to develop symptoms of Celiac disease. The connection is so clear that when the patients stop taking the drug, the symptoms go away.
Doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., realized that many of their Celiac patients had all the symptoms, but didn’t test positive for the disease in their blood tests. This was very odd, so they decided to question the patients and see if there was a common link. Sure enough, all of them were taking the drug olmesartan. So they took the patients off the drug, and their symptoms disappeared.
The researchers began to dig a little deeper and found that the drugs regularly caused very serious intestinal damage. And the body would heal this damage when the patient stopped taking the drug.
These studies indicate that olmesartan and possibly other angiotensin receptor blockers are a clear cause of Celiac-type symptoms. But they also bring up a different question. Is it possible that there’s a connection between blood pressure and gluten sensitivity?
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We can’t say that just because a blood pressure drug causes Celiac symptoms there is therefore a connection with gluten and blood pressure. This was a clear case of a drug causing serious intestinal damage. But here’s an interesting connection. Angiotensin receptor blockers lower your blood pressure by inhibiting angiotensin II. This is a natural substance in your body that narrows your blood vessels and increases sodium in your body. Both of these will increase your blood pressure.
But these drugs also decrease a substance in your body called transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta). This intestinal cytokine is responsible for keeping your gut in balance. But TGF-beta also lowers your blood pressure by increasing nitric oxide, which regulates your blood pressure. Interestingly, the angiotensin receptor blockers are able to lower blood pressure in spite of this impact on TGF-beta.
But TGF-beta is where the gluten connection comes in. The TGF-beta cytokine helps your body avoid an auto-immune response to gluten. When it’s low, your body begins to attack the gluten protein. So the angiotensin receptor blockers increase the likelihood of developing a sensitivity to gluten.
All of this means that if you have high blood pressure, there could be a simple two-step cure. The first step is simply cutting gluten out of your diet. This allows your body to rebuild the TGF-beta, and increases your nitric oxide production. Both can lower your blood pressure.
The second step involves taking care of your vascular system. The best way to do this is with the supplement nattokinase, which helps reduce the thickness of your blood. This will lower your blood pressure and prevent blood clots. You can order nattokinase as a stand-alone supplement in Advanced Natto Formula or in the overall heart support formula Circutol.
Does this two-step cure work? It may not work for everyone, but it did for me. My blood pressure was 139/90. After avoiding gluten and taking Circutol, my blood pressure is now a much healthier 107/74. That’s a drop of over 30 points in just six months. If you try this, please reply to this email and let me know how it works for you.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.
Nutrient Insider, written by Steve Kroening, is a complimentary e-mail service from Advanced Bionutritionals.