Blood pressure is exactly what is sounds like; the pressure that blood exhibits as it is circulating through the body. Normal blood pressure is the direct result of a healthy heart and open arteries, aspects of the body that L-arginine facilitates with vasodilation. High blood pressure is directly associated with poor heart health, high stress, and build-up within the arteries.
Technically speaking, blood pressure “is the pressure exerted by circulating blood upon the walls of blood vessels, and is one of the principal vital signs. When used without further specification, ‘blood pressure’ usually refers to the arterial pressure of the systemic circulation.” (Wikipedia)
Simply put, blood pressure is a measurement of how your heart and arteries facilitate blood flow throughout the body. When that blood flow is restricted by narrow arteries, blood pressure is extremely high, also known as hypertension. When blood flow is low because of a weak heart, underactive thyroid, or liver disease, it is known as hypotension.
Systolic Blood Pressure
Systolic blood pressure is the reading that you see on top of the recorded two numbers. Systolic blood pressure measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats, or contracts.
Diastolic Blood Pressure
Diastolic blood pressure is the bottom number. This number represents the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats, when the heart is resting in between beats.
High Blood Pressure
If you see blood pressure readings that show the systolic number at over 140, while the diastolic number is above 90, you have high blood pressure, or hypertension. Simply speaking, when the systolic an diastolic numbers are high, it is a sign that blood is not flowing freely through your veins, but is being constricted and restricted for some reason, causing great pressure along the artery walls. This limited blood flow, combined with the intense pressure being places in the artery walls, is cause for alarm and could lead to many health problems.
While some forms of high blood pressure show no identifiable causes, most cases of hypertension can be prevented with exercise, a healthy diet, low stress levels, and arginine supplements.
High Blood Pressure Risk Factors
As with any condition, age always plays a key role in risk factors. As you age, your blood pressure naturally increases. Race also plays a role, whereas ‘serious complications, such as stroke and heart attack…are more common in blacks’ according to Mayoclinic.com.
And then there are the preventable risk factors such as obesity, physical activity, tobacco use, and alcohol use. These four key elements are risk factors for many heart and cardiovascular conditions.
Too much sodium and too little vitamin D can also contribute to high blood pressure. Sodium can cause your body to preserve fluid, which can increase blood pressure. Vitamin D affects enzymes that facilitate healthy blood flow, and a deficiency in vitamin D can affect the way that this enzyme is produced, thus increasing blood pressure.
L-Arginine and High Blood Pressure
L-arginine, once within the body, converts to nitric oxide, a key element in healthy blood flow. Arginine facilitates in vasodilation, or the widening of the arteries, which increases blood flow. This increased blood flow decreases pressure and thus helps to ease symptoms of high blood pressure. Arginine has also been shown to dissolve plaque build-up on the arteries, another precursor to hypertension.