One of the main problems with high blood pressure is that scientists have very little idea about what really causes it.
They can point to diet, lifestyle, and genetic causes.
But the fact is, in over 70 percent of cases, health-care professionals have to admit they have no idea what the underlying cause of the disease is.
A new discovery may reveal the missing link that causes high blood pressure. And the solution could lie in a more natural approach than medicine.
Many blood-pressure drugs today work to remove a hormone called angiotensin II from your body. This hormone causes your blood vessels to constrict and, therefore, leads to high blood pressure.
Recently, scientists from the Riken Brain Science Institute in Japan discovered a protein that naturally breaks down angiotensin II. This protein is called ERAP1 and naturally occurs in the human body.
The discovery was made by coincidence when the scientists noticed that some mice had much higher levels of ERAP1 than others and that these mice had 20 percent lower blood-pressure levels than average mice.
As a result, instead of developing drugs to break down angiotensin II, scientists are thinking of methods that will boost ERAP1.
However, the development of new drugs is not what excites me. What does is the fact that this discovery reopens an old door to naturally lower blood pressure.
You see, the ERAP1 protein doesn’t just break down angiotensin II. It’s also a vital protein in immune-system function. It breaks down several inflammation-related hormones and prevents them from entering your cells.
So, when inflammation is high, all the ERAP1 that your body holds is used up in fighting it, leaving nothing to break down angiotensin II, the hormone that causes high blood pressure.
The rational thing to do then is to lower your overall inflammation, freeing ERAP1 to perform its job instead of developing drugs to boost more ERAP1.
Chronic inflammation is the major factor in almost all modern diseases. It causes type 2 diabetes, plaque build-up in arteries, arthritis, high blood pressure, cancer, and so many other conditions.
Inflammation causes physical stress. It’s one of four types of stressor that cause high blood pressure; the other three are sensory (e.g., loud TV), mental (e.g., money worries), and emotional (e.g., divorce or loss of a loved one) stressors.
All these stress factors accumulate in your body, boosting the stress hormone cortisol, which leads to high blood pressure and many other diseases.