Breaking Down Hypertension: Navigating Genetic Risk Factors for Functional Wellness

Ep 90 - Hypertension
Today, I delve into the intricate interplay between hypertension and genetic predisposition, shedding light on how specific genes can influence blood pressure and increase the risk of this prevalent health concern. I will not only explore the genetic factors contributing to hypertension but also focus on actionable strategies that we as functional practitioners can employ to prevent and manage high blood pressure effectively. From dietary interventions to targeted supplementation and stress reduction techniques, we'll uncover a holistic approach to empower both practitioners and individuals to take control of their cardiovascular health.


Understanding Hypertension
Hypertension, characterized by elevated blood pressure, particularly when it surpasses the threshold of 120 over 80, is a critical health concern due to its potential to result in severe complications, including strokes and debilitating headaches. This condition is thoroughly defined in the opening section, emphasizing its medical significance and the risks associated with it, such as strokes and other disabilities.

Genetic Factors
Genetic factors are known to exert a significant influence on hypertension. Specific genes, namely ACE (Angiotensin Converting Enzyme), AGTR1 (Angiotensin 2 receptor), NOS (nitric oxide synthase), and CYP11B2 (aldosterone synthase), have been pinpointed as key contributors to high blood pressure. These genetic elements play a pivotal role in critical physiological processes like kidney function, sodium regulation, and vasodilation, all of which are intricately linked to the control of blood pressure. The discussion surrounding these specific genetic factors and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), including ACE, AGTR1, NOS, and CYP11B2, offers valuable insights into the genetic underpinnings of hypertension and how these SNPs impact the intricate mechanisms governing blood pressure regulation.


Functional Approaches
Functional practitioners play a pivotal role in assisting individuals dealing with hypertension by employing a multifaceted approach. These strategies encompass dietary adjustments, such as increasing foods high in potassium, magnesium, and CoQ10, stress alleviation methods like meditation and yoga, regular exercise, and genetic profiling to personalize interventions. Additionally, the importance of accurate blood pressure measurement is highlighted, advocating the necessity of taking multiple readings to mitigate white coat hypertension and ensure precise results. The transcript underscores the critical role of lifestyle modifications, including stress-reduction techniques and dietary changes, such as adhering to the DASH diet, optimizing potassium and magnesium intake, and incorporating supplements like taurineto effectively lower blood pressure. 


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Ritamarie Loscalzo

Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo is a best-selling author and speaker known for her extensive knowledge, infectious energy, and inspirational message that encourages individuals to become their own best health advocate. She is an internationally recognized nutrition and health authority who specializes in using the wisdom of nature to restore hormone balance with a special emphasis on thyroid, adrenal and insulin imbalances. She founded the Institute of Nutritional Endocrinology to empower health and nutrition practitioners to get to the root cause of health concerns by using functional assessments and natural therapeutics to balance the endocrine system, the body's master controller.

Dr. Ritamarie is a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic with Certification in Acupuncture and is a Diplomat of the American Clinical Nutrition Board. She is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist with a Master’s in Human Nutrition, has completed a 2-year, 500-hour Herbal Medicine Program at David Winston’s Center for Herbal Studies and has a master's degree in Computer Science, which contributes to her skills as an ace problem solver.