Published on July 29, 2019
Recently, GrassrootsHealth presented information on cholesterol and triglyceride levels among our participants, followed by a review showing the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids on triglyceride levels and overall cardiovascular health. Next, we will take one more look at how omega-3s may benefit heart and cardiovascular health through its effects on blood pressure. Before we get to that topic, let’s take a look at what GrassrootsHealth participants have reported for their own blood pressure levels.
The “Silent Killer” — Hypertension
According to the American Heart Association, nearly half of the adult population in the United States has high blood pressure, and many of them are unaware that they have it. With no outward symptoms in most cases, it has been labeled a “silent killer.” Left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to heart attack, stroke, and other health consequences leading to premature death.
What is considered high?
A blood pressure reading consists of two numbers. The top number is the systolic blood pressure, or the amount of pressure exerted on the artery walls when the heart is beating. The bottom number is the diastolic blood pressure or the amount of pressure when the heart is at rest.
The stages of high blood pressure (also known as hypertension) begin when the systolic blood pressure is 130 or higher, or the diastolic blood pressure is 80 or higher.
What did GrassrootsHealth participants report for their blood pressure?
In the GrassrootsHealth D*action questionnaire, participants are asked if they know their average blood pressure over the past 6 months, and if so, what it was. On their most recent questionnaire, 64% of participants indicated yes, they did know their average blood pressure over the previous 6 months. Of those, 40% reported having a normal average blood pressure, 18% reported having elevated blood pressure (not yet considered hypertensive),and the remaining 42% reported having blood pressure levels that qualify as either stage 1 or stage 2 hypertension.
Due to the self-report nature of the questionnaire, it is possible that many of those who do know their blood pressure are actively monitoring it due to a current or previous diagnosis of hypertension or some other health condition. This may result in an over-representation of those with elevated or high blood pressure within the entire cohort.
Have questions you would like to see addressed?
If there is a topic you would like us to address, please let us know! Send your news-worthy questions to jen @grassrootshealth.org and let us know what you think we should answer or share in our news.
Do you know your vitamin D level?
Make sure you and your loved ones know your level of vitamin D! Testing vitamin D levels and taking daily steps to keep it at a target level of 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L) is important for all stages of health. Find out your levels today! Log on to the shop (click the link below) to get your tests and see for yourself if your levels can be improved.
Make sure you track your results before and after, about every 6 months!
How can I track my vitamin D levels over time?
To help you track your supplement use and nutrient levels, GrassrootsHealth has created an online tracking system called myData-myAnswers. For each specific supplement, you can track what days you take it, how much, and many other details. This will help you know your true supplemental intake and what patterns of use work for you to reach and maintain optimum nutrient levels. Check it out today!
How Can You Use this Information for YOUR Health?
Having and maintaining healthy vitamin D and other nutrient levels can help improve your health now and for your future. Measuring is the only way to make sure you are getting enough!
STEP 1 Order your at-home blood spot test kit to measure vitamin D and other nutrients of concern to you, such as omega-3s, magnesium, essential and toxic elements (zinc, copper, selenium, lead, cadmium, mercury); include hsCRP as a marker of inflammation or HbA1c for blood sugar health
STEP 2 Answer the online questionnaire as part of the GrassrootsHealth study
STEP 3 Using our educational materials and tools (such as our dose calculators), assess your results to determine if you are in your desired target range or if actions should be taken to get there
STEP 4 After 3-6 months of implementing your changes, re-test to see if you have achieved your target level(s)