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Hypertension can be treated by fasting and caloric restriction. Experimental and clinical evidence.

Calorie restriction prevents hypertension and cardiac hypertrophy in the spontaneously hypertensive rat.
Hypertension. 2010 Sep;56(3):412-21. Epub 2010 Aug 9.
Dolinsky VW, Morton JS, Oka T, Robillard-Frayne I, Bagdan M, Lopaschuk GD, Des Rosiers C, Walsh K, Davidge ST, Dyck JR.
458 Heritage Medical Research Centre, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2S2, Canada.
Abstract:
Because recent evidence demonstrated that calorie restriction (CR) has numerous beneficial cardiovascular effects, we investigated whether short-term CR could reduce hypertension and prevent cardiac hypertrophy inherent to the nonobese spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR). After 5 weeks of either ad libitum feeding or short-term CR, SHRs subjected to short-term CR had lower systolic blood pressure (BP) and reduced left ventricular wall thickness as assessed by noninvasive tail-cuff BP measurements and echocardiography, respectively. In addition, ultrasound measurements of the femoral artery revealed that flow-mediated vasodilation was significantly improved in SHRs with CR compared to controls. Moreover, pressure myography of isolated mesenteric arteries and subsequent histological and biochemical analysis of these arteries demonstrated that short-term CR improved vascular compliance, increased endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) activity and nitric oxide bioavailability, and reduced vascular remodeling compared to ad libitum-fed SHRs. Although these effects are likely multifactorial, they were associated with elevated levels of the circulating adipokine, adiponectin, and enhanced AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity. To provide evidence that elevated adiponectin levels in the SHR is sufficient to prevent an increase in BP, adenoviral-mediated overexpression of adiponectin increased circulating levels of adiponectin, reduced BP, and activated the AMPK/eNOS pathway in the absence of CR. Overall, our findings provide compelling evidence that short-term CR exerts beneficial effects in the SHR via stimulation of an adiponectin/AMPK/eNOS signaling axis. As a result, CR may serve as an effective nonpharmacological treatment of hypertension, and targeting the adiponectin/AMPK/eNOS pathway may improve treatment of hypertension.


Central and peripheral hemodynamics in patients with essential hypertension on a fasting diet.

Klin Med (Mosk). 2003;81(9):35-9. [Article in Russian]
Murav'ev SA, Malishevskii MV, Makarova GA, Andreeva OV.

Effectiveness of an antihypertensive action of fasting therapy was studied in 147 patients with arterial hypertension stage I-II. Estimation of systolic and diastolic functions of the left ventricle in patients with arterial hypertension was carried out using stress echocardiography with isometric loading. Dynamics of systolic and diastolic arterial pressure (AP) and changes in the hyperbaric index for diastolic AP were assessed at 24-h AP monitoring. The course of fasting therapy consisting of a 2-week fasting period and the recovery period of the same duration resulted in a statistically significant reduction of weight, a decrease of average daily systolic and diastolic AP, lowering of the hyperbaric index of diastolic AP and improvement of the diastolic reserve of the left ventricle. 24-h AP monitoring and stress echocardiography within 3 months showed a high clinical effectiveness of fasting therapy. 
 

Medically supervised water-only fasting in the treatment of hypertension.
J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2001 Jun;24(5):335-9.
Goldhamer A, Lisle D, Parpia B, Anderson SV, Campbell TC.
Center for Conservative Therapy, Penngrove, Calif, USA.

BACKGROUND: Hypertension-related diseases are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in industrially developed societies. Although antihypertensive drugs are extensively used, dietary and lifestyle modifications also are effective in the treatment of patients with hypertension. One such lifestyle intervention is the use of medically supervised, water-only fasting as a safe and effective means of normalizing blood pressure and initiating health-promoting behavioral changes. METHODS: One hundred seventy-four consecutive hypertensive patients with blood pressure in excess of 140 mm Hg systolic, 90 mm Hg diastolic (140/90 mm Hg), or both were treated in an inpatient setting under medical supervision. The treatment program consisted of a short prefasting period (approximately 2 to 3 days on average) during which food consumption was limited to fruits and vegetables, followed by medically supervised water-only fasting (approximately 10 to 11 days on average) and a refeeding period (approximately 6 to 7 days on average) introducing a low-fat, low-sodium, vegan diet.
RESULTS: Almost 90% of the subjects achieved blood pressure less than 140/90 mm Hg by the end of the treatment program. The average reduction in blood pressure was 37/13 mm Hg, with the greatest decrease being observed for subjects with the most severe hypertension. Patients with stage 3 hypertension (those with systolic blood pressure greater than 180 mg Hg, diastolic blood pressure greater than 110 mg Hg, or both) had an average reduction of 60/17 mm Hg at the conclusion of treatment. All of the subjects who were taking antihypertensive medication at entry (6.3% of the total sample) successfully discontinued the use of medication.
CONCLUSION: Medically supervised water-only fasting appears to be a safe and effective means of normalizing blood pressure and may assist in motivating health-promoting diet and lifestyle changes.

 
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