Has anyone ever try Vita Pharmica PressAssure?

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I listen to a talk radio show with a promminent doctor swearing an all natural suppliment called PressAssure can lower blood pressure without side effects. Has anyone tried this product and what was your result?

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  • Posted

    What are his medical qualifications? It has been around for years and if any good would be better known.


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  • Posted

    OK, I'm on call on a slow Sunday afternoon with nothing better to do, so I decided to do some research on this stuff. All info from the US National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). There's plenty of other info out there, but most of it from dodgy health freak sites, so not entirely reliable. Here's the list of ingredients, with main effects proven - or at least indicated - by scientific study:

    - Baikal skullcap root. Brought about significant reduction of cholesterol levels. In rabbits.

    - Cassia tora seed. Cassia is better known as the laxative senna. The NCBI found it lowered blood glucose.

    - Ligusticum chuanxiong rhyzome. The NCBI really liked this one: "A large number of pharmacological and chemical studies during the last 10 years have demonstrated the vast medicinal potential of LC. It is still very clear that LC is a plant with widespread use now and also with extraordinary potential for the future." As far as I can make out, it covers most bases - anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, neuro- and vasculoprotective, analgesic, you name it. Good results with cerebral and cardiac ischaemic disease.

    - White peony root. Anti-inflammatory, mild immunosuppressant (e.g. used in autoimmune conditions like RA).

    - Curcumin (turmeric). Well-known anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. NCBI study concurs.

    - Chinese spikenard (nardostachys chinensis) rhizome. Anti-inflammatory.

    With all those anti-inflammatory, vasculoprotective and antioxidant properties, sounds like it might well be useful for the underlying causes of hypertension. I might just give it a go myself.

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    • Posted

      Just as a rider to my post, all the above research was carried out on the alleged individual ingredients of PressAssure, as gleaned from the Natural Health Consultants site. Vitapharmica don't actually commit to what's in it on their own site! Might be better to go for the separate ingredients. My money is on the curcumin and ligusticum chuanxiong.
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    • Posted

      If you give it a go will you report back to us?

      Do you have hypertension and need to take it?

      The other question is does it actually contain the items in question and in its stated quantities? If you watch Trust Me I'm a Doctor they found little or none of the supposed product in a range of health items checked from reputable UK stores and internet sites.  

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    • Posted

      That's the point I was making in my rider, Derek. No way of knowing whether PressAssure really contains these ingredients in pure or bioavailable form, or even at all. This is the problem with most herbal mixtures. Hence my suggestion to try and get the individual ingredients from a reputable source. This is usually a better bet but, as you rightly point out, there's no final guarantee even there!

      I have isolated systolic hypertension. My systolic isn't unduly high - rarely above 140 - but the diastolic is always below 70, and sometimes in the 50s. This means pulse pressure is around 80, when it shouldn't be higher than 40, which is an indicator of atherosclerosis.

      Fortunately, my GP is of the logical persuasion, and agrees with me that hypotensive meds would lower both values, leaving me with an unchanged pulse pressure, plus the additional problem of a dangerously low diastolic. Especially as I've already had a nasty fall down an escalator due to a sudden dizzy spell.

      I'm currently trying something else. Won't say what, as I don't want to provoke yet another tirade from one our more rabid postersrolleyes but you should be able to find it in these threads. This product is something that actually reduced my pulse pressure first time round but caused such bad side-effects I had to stop it. I re-started two months ago and have been increasing very slowly indeed, to try and establish whether I can tolerate a therapeutic dose. Haven't got there yet, and I don't want to muddy the waters by trying too many things at once.

      If it doesn't work, I'll try and get hold of some chuan xiong. Turmeric is easier, so I might add that in already. I think one can safely assume that there's at least a reasonable amount of what's supposed to be there in culinary spices. Also, the NCBI study said you only need to take a very little to get results.

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    • Posted

      Hi Derek, Yet another rider. I really am bored this afternoon, can't wait for my shift to be over!

      On further investigation, the plot thickens! It seems ligusticum is the name for lovage. Sites vary as to whether ligusticum chuanxion (or Szechuan lovage) is the same plant as plain ligusticum scotica that grows in our neck of the woods, though the overall impression is that they're the same genus, and produce similar results. All the same, one shouldn't jump to conclusions about plant names: e.g. Siberian ginseng is an entirely different plant from Korean ginseng; in fact it isn't ginseng at all - as I once found out to my cost.

      However, the reputable WebMD site, while admitting that lovage can have diuretic effects, also warns that it can increase sodium levels and increase BP!

      On the other hand, according to a Chinese herbal site, ligustrazine is the active ingredient in both kinds of lovage, and "...can dilate cerebral blood vessels, reduce vascular resistance, significantly increase blood flow to the brain and body, and improve microcirculation". So that sounds OK.

      Now, Wikipedia also tells us that a folk name for ligusticum scoticum is liquorice-root. That brought me up all standing, as I know liquorice (the real kind) is a dangerous hypertensive! However, on reading further I think that's just another plant misnomer, as real liquorice is from the glycyrrhiza family, which has nothing to do with ligusticum. It seems it just has a slightly similar taste. Also, I'm inclined to believe the NCBI site that sings the praises of Szechuan lovage.

      Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is very keen on lovage, but he says the plant name is levisticum, just to confuse matters again. However, the trusty Wikipedia says levisticum and ligusticum are more or less the same thing. I've never seen it in our shops - have just had to look up its French name, and I'd never heard of it - but I'm thinking maybe I might be able to find some seeds and grow lovage on my west-facing terrace. It clearly is an established culinary herb, so I suppose it wouldn't hurt to actually eat the stuff.

      My work is done...cheesygrin

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    • Posted

      As I often post here I have labile hypertension. It can be 210/114 (since 2000) in the morning and 90/62 by evening or on ocasion even lower. I've had many hypertension meds, tests and MRI scans.

      Consultant at the hypertension centre suggested that I'm not truly hypertensive but have peaks and that meds cause me more than usual side effects for that reason. I'm inclined to go along with that!

      From 240mg verapamil, 100mg Losartan and a diuretic I  now just take 50mg Losartan and it tends to be lower than previously. 

      Over the 16 years I've had ectopic beats (wonder if caused by verapamil) Aortic stenosis and a new heart valve. Operation caused AF that I now have for the third time caused by other procedures that stimulated my vagus nerve. I now have a pacemaker and about to have an AV node ablation but life goes on.The worst meds were Amiodarone and Bisoprolol.

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    • Posted

      That was very interesting. Plants must vary according to the climates they are grown in and the time of year they are harvested.

      I used to take tincture of saw palmetto for my prostate. It varied in colour at different times of year and it tasted much stronger the darker it was.

      From your afternoon comment and planting on a West facing terrace are you on the East Coast of America?

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    • Posted

      No - the near Continent. We're an hour ahead of you, plus I was using the term "afternoon" somewhat loosely.

      Reading your other post, you certainly have been through it, haven't you? Still, I gather AV node ablation works pretty well. A friend had it a few years ago when she went into terrifying AF as a result of a badly overactive thyroid, and it worked very well. Isn't it what Tony Bliar had too?

      Glad to hear you've got a sensible specialist. Some doctors are totally unreasonable when it comes to BP - nothing other than 120/80 will satisfy them. When my mother first went on a CCB (can't remember which now) at age 75 it quickly brought her BP down from 190/140 to 130/80... and her GP insisted on upping the dose because it wasn't low enough for him!

      Good luck with the op!

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    • Posted

      Most assumed that Blair had a cardioversion as it was over so quickly and he was back to normal. No reports of him having more problems.

      That will be which op! As I had a spine and pelvic MRI last week and see the neuro surgeon tomorrow.

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