Dr. Braverman treats hypertension with a two-part program of diet and nutrients. He describes the first part as “the best of Pritikin and Atkins.” The second part is an orthomolecular approach — using megadoses of nutrients to treat disease.
Accompanying the diet program Dr. Braverman prescribes the following regimens:
1. Stop smoking — Tobacco smoke contains harmful cadmium that can harden arteries and damage the heart.
2. Eliminate caffeine — Drinking two cups of coffee a day can raise your blood pressure five or 10 points.
3. Lose weight — This is the key factor in lowering blood pressure and increasing your life span. By losing 30 pounds you can lower your blood pressure at least four points.
To lose weight initially, Dr. Braverman advises eating a low-carbohydrate diet — not the Pritikin diet, which is about 85% complex carbohydrates (vegetables, starches, fruit). Since carbohydrates cause fluid retention, Dr. Braverman recommends a diet high in protein, which acts as a diuretic. For example, Dr. Braverman suggests a diet of fish, fresh vegetables (not starchy ones: potatoes, corn, peas, and carrots), small amount of cheese and salad.
This diet, which restricts salt and fried food, is called Plan A. Once the patient has lost weight, he is switched to Plan B — a complex carbohydrate, Pritikin-type diet of fish, chicken, whole grains, salads, vegetables, and fruit. Patients are also advised to increase their intake of polyunsaturated oils (safflower, sunflower), which have a
diuretic effect, lower cholesterol, and eliminate saturated fats (e.g., butter).
Plan B does not work for everybody; many obese hypertensives have biochemical imbalances and gain weight on a complex carbohydrate diet, even one restricted to 1500 to 1800 calories. In such a case, Dr. Braverman would design a tailor-made diet.
Part two of Dr. Braverman’s program for hypertension consists of megadoses of nutrients to treat the brain’s biochemical imbalances. High on the list of essential nutrients is fish oil, which contains the fatty acid, omega-3, to lower elevated triglycerides and raise low HDL levels. Dosage depends on the individual; a patient with extremely elevated triglycerides and reduced HDL might need 12 to 15 capsules of fish oil a day.
Other nutrients found to be particularly beneficial are linoleic acid (5-15 grams), magnesium (500-1500 mg), vitamin B-6 (200-1000 mg), taurine (1-3 grams), and zinc (15-60 mg).
Additional nutrients may be prescribed: CoQ10, calcium, and potassium (as salt substitute or in fruit). Ginger, garlic, and onions also lower blood pressure and are valuable for their anticlotting properties.
Excellent results are achieved by treating patients with this diet and nutrient program, even though the patient may be taking one or two drugs when he starts the program. Once the number exceeds two, it’s harder to eliminate all medications, but it can be done.
Eric R. Braverman, M.D.
Dr. Braverman is a Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brandeis University and NYU Medical School, did brain research at Harvard Medical School, and trained at an affiliate of Yale Medical School. He is acknowledged worldwide as an expert in brain-based diagnosis and treatment, and he lectures to and trains doctors in anti-aging medicine.