Renegade Health Radio: 40 The Natural Solution to High Blood Pressure

Monday Mar 2 | BY |
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In this episode:
Frederic and Kevin discuss the greatest natural remedy to high blood pressure — one that works every better than drugs and is scientifically proven.

TRANSCRIPT – Coming Soon!

Frederic: Renegade Health Radio, this is Frederic Patenaude and today, Kevin is back. Welcome back Kev.

Kevin: I’m back. What is that – Here’s Johnny.

Frederic: Well it’s good to have you here. I mean this is our show right? And there are some recurring topics that we talk about and that we love to talk about and today we’re going to talk about – we’re going to bring back and old friend so to speak and talk about high blood pressure because this is a common issue and you probably have you know, blood pressure in your family or people with high blood pressure in your family, everybody does. I got lots of history you know in the family, genetic, history of high blood pressure so this is something that I’m definitely interested in and you have done some great research Kev for your book about high blood pressure so we’re going to talk about this today.

Kevin: Yeah and the blood pressure thing I mean – I wouldn’t even say blood – the blood pressure isn’t the old friend, the solution is the old friend.

Frederic: That’s what I mean, the solution.

Kevin: The blood pressure is like you know, annoying kind of like obnoxious friend that you have that you just kind of want to go away right? “Get out of here!” You know everyone knows someone who has high blood pressure and you know the treatments to quote Alan Goldhamer suck. You know the conventional treatments just don’t do it and that was actually a quote that he gave me for my book as I was writing and I was like “I’m going to leave that in there because I think it’s great. You know the drugs that people take, they can give you know all different types of side effects, some of them just aren’t really that effective and the additional thing is there’s a lot of misinformation out there and so what we’re going to share with you is a technique that not only can lower your blood pressure but also can keep it low which is fantastic. So Fred do you want to give the big reveal here?

Frederic: On what the technique is?

Kevin: Yeah.

Frederic: Yeah I want to do that and I just want to mention also that I’ve got like a personal interest in this because my dad had really high blood pressure and he died of a heart attack, unrelated but I mean it’s not unrelated but he didn’t die of a stroke or anything but you know my mom has always taken medication for high blood pressure, keeps telling me you know “You’re going to get it because everybody has it in the family” and you should – and I tend to have a high blood pressure or not high but you know in a higher range when I go to the doctor. Every time I check it there I kind of have the you know, white coat syndrome but I do keep track at home and it’s actually pretty good but I had to make some changes in order to keep it in that range and I definitely don’t want to be in a situation where you realize that you have to make some serious changes because it’s not getting any lower and then you don’t know what to do, you’re freaking out and so on. So I’m definitely interested in this and I’ve always known that water fasting was awesome for high blood pressure but you told me about the research that Dr. Alan Goldhamer did at his fasting center in Northern California, the TrueNorth Health Center about high blood pressure and about water fasting being like one of the most effective treatments they’ve ever found for high blood pressure.

Kevin: It’s the same. I mean it really is and the actual quote from Alan is I have the manuscript open right here and it’s medical management of high blood pressure sucks, I mean that’s his straight up answer. So what he did, he and his team listed Decon Campbell [PH 0:04:12] to run a cohort study, so this is a real study. They gathered 174 patients and they had them do medically supervised water fast and tracked them for 12 years and the result was that all 147 people lowered their blood pressure enough to eliminate the need for medication. The water – and this is the real like highlight here. The water fast reduced blood pressure an average of 60 points more than the accepted medical treatment being used around the world, so not only 60 points but 60 points more than the medical interventions that people normally use which is insane, you know and to me what this means is that this is one of those things that if you have the guts to do it, you can really do yourself an amazing thing but the question is do you have the guts to do a medically supervised water fast right Fred? I mean it’s not a thing where you just you know you make some green juice and have some smoothies, I mean this is where you drink distilled water for you know a certain period of days.

Frederic: Well I think – I mean I’ve done some fasting, you’ve done some fasting and I’ve done enough fasting at this point that I personally would feel comfortable fasting up to five or six days or even maybe seven days on my own as long as I had telephone access to one of the doctors from TrueNorth in case I had any questions but up to five days, I mean I’ve done it enough times that I know what’s going to happen you know, and it’s not fun. I mean fasting is not fun but beyond those four or five first days, you definitely want to be inside of a center for supervised water fasting and there are not many of them, in fact there’s only one that I really you know, could recommend, maybe there are more but this is the same one that you recommend Kev, the TrueNorth Health Center but you know, it’s the best place in the world for water fasting at the moment. So it’s not easy to fast but it’s not as hard as you think it is if you’ve never done a fast before because it’s a process. But my question is because there’s such a big difference between let’s say two days of fasting, five days of fasting and 10-20 days of fasting is how long do you need to fast in order to lower your blood pressure significantly and for that to have the long lasting effect.

Kevin: Well I mean it’s a question that depends on the individual but what I think the most important thing to think about here is that you can do things that are fast like and get some decent results. So you know the biggest question is “Why does it work?” Right? So why does water fasting work? So with the absence of any sort of food or anything that you’re putting into your body, your body is healing. So that’s number one right? So you have high blood pressure, you don’t eat anything, you only drink water, your body is eliminating any excess stress that could be caused by food or any sort of drink or alcohol or cigarette smoke or anything else that you may be doing. Also when you do a water fast, you relax so you know the added stress side of it goes away too because you know you’re sitting at TrueNorth, in this really nice condo and you’re just relaxing you know and you may be going to a talk every once in a while. So that’s why it works, so you’re eliminating all the things that are stimulating your body and causing your blood pressure to raise. So the first thing to do obviously is cut out all the processed foods, you know that’s a very simple kind of thing. Alan’s diet you know that they do at TrueNorth is a diet that’s vegan, it’s a diet that doesn’t have any added salts or oil. Now again, Alan would probably be mad that I say this but I disagree that that’s something that you necessarily need to do in order to lower your blood pressure, but you know you can definitely lower your salt intake by lowering the amount of processed foods you eat, so that’s important too. So that’s like you know, that’s part of it and then additionally you know if you don’t want to go with just water, you can also do juices, you can do smoothies, just whole food, just a general whole food diet you know that’s made with prepared foods at home is going to give you a significant decrease in your blood pressure just as like a starting point. And then if you want to do like the real healing where you can kind of super charge the amount of time, or sorry, speed up the amount of time that it does take to heal then the water fasting is a fantastic way to do it because again you’re not putting anything in your body, you’re giving yourself that time to heal and your body is not focusing on anything else besides keeping you alive and healing all the things that are “Broken” or just you know not functioning properly, that’s when you can get some really fantastic results over a short period of time.

Frederic: So it’s more than just flushing out the salt in your body, I mean it’s more than just what happens when you don’t eat any food containing salt for awhile because you’re fasting. It’s all the effect on your system for the relaxation effect and the anti-stress effect of the fast itself. I mean I know personally that when I fast or when I do any kind of like juice fasting or something like that, there’s an incredible sense of relaxation that comes in the first few days where you don’t have any sources of stimulation, you tend to fall asleep earlier, you tend to sleep for longer, it seems like your entire body is catching up on that relaxation because you don’t have the stimulation from food and from other stimulants like coffee or alcohol and you know, whatever else people include in their diet. So it has been proven to have a very anti-depressant effect as well, fasting does and what struck me for the results of their study is that it seems that the effect is long lasting. So you fast for awhile on water and it’s not like the high blood pressure comes back as soon as you start eating again.

Kevin: Yeah, I mean – and I kind of want to point out – can I like you know talk about salt a little bit here in terms of the blood pressure conversation?

Frederic: Yeah, absolutely.

Kevin: Because I mean I think that you and I may have a little bit of a disagreement about it but you know in some of the – and maybe we can just like kind of dig into some pieces here, because yeah, you can lower the salt intake in your diet but that doesn’t necessarily – there’s a lot of research out there now particularly – you know as I was researching for the book, there’s a lot of research out there that really calls into question you know whether or not a lower salt diet will do as much as everyone thinks it will do for blood pressure. There’s a study from 2004, there’s a research organization called the Cochrane Collaboration, they came together and they found a lack of data concerning high blood pressure and salt consumption in 11 salt reduction trials. In another review of 57 trials came the same conclusion, low salt diets don’t yield substantial benefits over regular salt intake. Now what does this mean? I mean what it means is that it’s just not a one to one equation. So it’s not like salt equals high blood pressure. What I found when I was looking through you know the journals and trying to find you know what the answer was, it really is just removing all the excess junk, you know all the processed foods, the things in boxes and things like that, that’s what actually kind of lowers the blood pressure significantly and it’s not necessarily a salt to blood pressure, it’s just taking out all the crap because again you know most of these studies aren’t being done on people who are really, really healthy and so when you’re eliminating the salt from some of their diets they’re still not really eating healthy food, you know they could be eating like low sodium crap macaroni and cheese or something like that. So there is this kind of mistake in correlation between salt intake and high blood pressure. I want to move the conversation away from that and just say “Hey, whole foods, generally people who eat whole foods have lower blood pressure.

Frederic: Yeah, absolutely. I don’t actually disagree with you. In fact you know I was pointing out that it’s not the salt, just taking out the salt in water fasting that works but it’s everything else and then of course in the diet, it’s not just about the salt. I mean I’ve tried myself just making modifications in my lifestyle and so on and I never really found that taking out salt did a significant change in my blood pressure but other things did you know like just fasting until noon or doing juice fasting one day a week or eating more raw foods or exercising, all kinds of things like that that I found a real difference but just playing with the salt, I kind of had a suspicion that if you remove all excess salt completely, that might lead to some results that maybe people are not getting results because they still eat a lot of salt compared to eating very little salt but I don’t know about that for sure just because I don’t eat a super low salt diet because I just don’t have the will power to do that but I think maybe that could help if someone you know tried everything else and it’s not working.

Kevin: And you know what’s interesting too is that there are salt sensitive genes as well and so you know if you have a salt sensitive gene and you’re eating a diet full of processed foods then you could be those people in those studies that are you know, kind of really skewing it as well. So I mean that’s on the other side. Donna Gates, you know talked to me about this when I was doing body ecology, when I was doing some interviews for the book and essentially her whole conclusion on salt is you know, two tablespoons of salt a day, which is a ton of salt right? It’s pretty much like that high level where you don’t really want to go over but if you’re eating a whole food diet and you’re not eating any processed foods, I mean you shouldn’t get that much sodium or salt in your diet at all. So I mean it’s really one of these things where it’s just like if you’re eating healthy, the salt isn’t – you know, you’re not going to get enough salt to really adversely affect your health and so let’s move on from that and you know let’s get into like the real things that actually move the needle, which is water fasting.

Frederic: So isn’t water fasting a little bit extreme?

Kevin: Extremely extreme.

Frederic: Extremely extreme, alright so you have to show up somewhere because we don’t want you to do it on your own if you’ve never done this before and it’s going to cost you some money, pretty much the same amount as a hotel room for the night, maybe some doctor’s test and so on. I think it’s a reasonable fee and then comes the hard part. So you’re not eating for a week, for five days, well maybe you’ll need to do seven to ten days for this to really work but I mean it is not – I think – I saw a documentary with Dr. Alan Goldhamer and his first – you know in his early days where he said that fasting is hard work and people generally don’t want to do hard work to improve their health and I totally understand what he means by hard work because it’s not fun. It requires will power, you have to be there and you’re kind of feels like a long journey but something happens and you see it happening. A lot of great things happen. A lot of difficult things happen but it’s not the hunger that is the most difficult actually because you lose the hunger after a few days but for me it’s more like the fatigue, you just don’t have any energy and it just feels like every day is really long and it just – you know, you’re looking – because you don’t have anything to look forward to, you don’t have any food to look forward too and you think about food and you’re like “It’s going to be so awesome when I eat again” but it’s not like this hunger where you’re physically hungry all the time but you’re more like psychologically hungry for a long time because you’re used to eating and then it’s this process that your body goes through and you get weak and you know, you have to be in the right environment. I know that fasting always sounds crazy to people who haven’t done it and it sounds crazy to health professionals who don’t have a clue about fasting and they always put it down. They always say you know “This is a terrible thing, there’s no scientific evidence.” You know it’s incredible that something this powerful is not more well-known but I understand why because it’s not the easy treatment and it’s something you do pretty much on your own. I mean the doctor comes and helps you and you know make sure you’re okay and you do blood tests and you know they make sure that you’re going to be fine but you do the work. I mean it’s not a pill that does the work or it’s not – it’s your own will power to go through with it and then you know great things can happen.

Kevin: Well the hardest part is I mean when it comes down to it, the absolute – the most difficult part is just showing up, it’s actually getting there.

Frederic: Yeah, finding the time in your schedule, saying I’m going to do it.

Kevin: Yep, finally doing it, like now is the time. That’s the hardest thing. By the way we don’t make any money from recommending TrueNorth just so you guys know that out there. You may think that we do because of how we talk about it but we’ve never made any money from recommending TrueNorth Health Center, we just like what they do up there, we think that they do it responsibly and we know how powerful it is because we’ve both done it and even with me, you know who doesn’t have any health challenges anymore, when I did a water fast I felt much better than I had really ever felt before, after it and I was like “Oh, wait a minute. I think I’m feeling good” and then I do this water fast I’m like “Wow, I feel even better.” It’s crazy.

Frederic: Do you think you’re going to do like a longer fast at some point in the next five or ten years, is that something you think about at some point you want to try?

Kevin: Well I was just thinking about it a minute ago, I need to go back there, so I mean for me, I would love to do another – I did a five-day fast you know and you did like a crazy long one, I would like to do maybe like a seven-day kind of thing. My challenge – again, my challenge now is you know getting away from the family you know, is it – can I get away from the family you know, a three-month old and a 2-1/2-year-old and a wife, two cats and a chicken, like can I get away from them for seven days and feel that it’s a good thing for everyone involved. So it’s a good thing for me, it’s a good thing for Annmarie, it’s good for Hudson and Basil and my family and all that sort of stuff so that’s the challenge that I have. But again I’m not faced with any sort of health challenge. If I had super high blood pressure and it was a problem where I had you know some of the other things that – the inflammation, arthritis, things that water fasting can be pretty fantastic for then that might be a different story. Then I would say “Yeah, well you know I need my health to be able to be great to my family.” So that makes sense but right now it’s more – I wouldn’t say vanity but it’s more secondary to you know the needs that we have at home right now. So you Fred, are you going to do a longer one?

Frederic: Well I was going to say that fasting is not like a lifestyle, like you don’t make it a plan to fast for a week every year and every five years you do a longer fast, I mean you don’t really schedule it like that. I don’t think you should fast. If you’re healthy I don’t think you should fast for a long time very often you know. I did a 23-day water fast in 2005 and it’s not an experience I want to repeat but I would do – I’m really glad I did it but I would do like a 7 to 10-day, maybe up to two week fast at some point, you know maybe in my early 40s to kind of start off the next decade on the right foot and making sure I’m healthy and I’m not carrying anything or I’m dealing with issues in advance, I think fasting can heal things that you might not even know are going on. So I think I’d like to do let’s say 7 to 12-day fast at some point within the next few years but I’m not really planning it. At the moment, I had a great experience last week doing a five-day juice fast and I’m going to write an article about this for the blog and I think this is something I could do on a regular basis. I could do a three-day juice fast every month or I could do a one day juice fast every week and I do a little bit of water fasting or you know, sometimes I don’t eat until 2:00 p.m. or 5:00 p.m. and that’s more intermittent fasting than you know, true water fasting and I did a five-day water fast, well was it two year ago already? Yeah, it’s already been two years so yeah. So the answer is yes but I don’t have definite plans for it. It’s not something like when you think of all the things you could be doing, it’s usually not something you put at the top of the list, you know like I’m going to do a water fast and then we’re going to go on a vacation. Usually it’s the last thing you want to do but I think at some point it’s – I kind of maintain a list of things I want to do in my life and so on and doing a water fast again is one of them, it’s just not a definite plan but I think experimenting with some forms of fasting whether it’s juice fasting or cleansing is something everybody, almost everybody can do and experiment with and get some benefits and I think it’s part of a healthy lifestyle no matter what some people are saying, some of the health experts that say you know it’s better to have a balanced diet every single day, you do the same thing. The thing is we don’t do the same thing every day and sometimes your body needs a break.

Kevin: Yeah, it was good enough for Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, I mean it’s good enough for you right? The question is “Are you going to do it?”

Frederic: Leave your comments on the blog, we’d love to hear your experience with water fasting but also specifically high blood pressure and maybe you’ve found some other ways to lower it naturally, share your thoughts at

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

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