Seaweed remedy for hypertension

Marine brown algae are just as efficient in lowering a too high blood pressure as are beta-blockers, the most usual medicines against hypertension. This is the result  of a research team at the Sahlgren hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden. Through his studies on overweight patients dr Marcin Krotkiewski got intererested in various kinds of dietic fibres. Marine brown algae are very rich in such fibres and as it appeared also control mineral balance of the body. These seaweed species posses the sympathetic quality to bind salt and to increase the level of potassium  – which is exactly what you wish to achieve with the catergory of hypertension patients which are sensitive to salt. Blood pressure level is lowered, the doctors think, either because seaweed pills cause a diminishing of natrium or because potassium increases or it is a combination effect. A great international study is now planned to find out if seaweed equals beta blockers. A treatment with seaweed pills has the same effect as a severe diet with salt restriction dr Krotkiewski and co-workers explain. However it is important to keep in mind that hypertension is not one particular disease but a symptom which may have different causes. Not all patients with a mild hypertension are salt sensitive. The investigation shows that also the non-sensitive patients had a decrease in blood pressure, even if it was not as strong as in the salt-sensitive group. The fact that there are no secondary effects from seaweed pills as regretably there often are from beta blockers makes seaweed a most interesting alternative to the conventional medicines. The present problem is that beta blockers are extremely well investigated but with side effects while seaweed pills up to now are known just as health food and are very little investigated  in this respect. Some doctors prescribe half – half.

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