Sea Plants and Cerebrovascular Health

Did you know that nature’s gifts from the sea promote healthy blood pressure, along with diet, exercise and good stress management?

Astragalus and wakame are two key ingredients in Fucosea that help address healthy blood pressure and may thus protect against stroke.

A stroke is caused by reduced blood supply to the brain, which deprives it of nutrients and critically, oxygen. There are two types of strokes: ischemic (a blocked artery), and hemorrhagic (blood vessel burst). Elevated blood pressure – called hypertension – can increase your risk of stroke up to six times, and it also can lead to blockages in small blood vessels to the brain.

A stroke occurs in Americans every 40 seconds, and approximately 133,000 Americans die of stroke each year, making it the fifth leading cause of fatality.

Astragalus is a popular botanical remedy in Traditional Chinese Medicine, where it has been and continues to be used to protect the body against stress (stress elevates blood pressure). A review of studies appearing in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine (June 2013) examined the benefits, effects and mechansism of action of Astragoloside IV (an active ingredient in astragalus). The authors concluded that Astragaeloside IV “has broad application prospects” notably in vascular conditions.

Wakame, an edible sea plant, is also neurovascular protective. The beauty of wakame is that you can enjoy eating it (it is quite delicious), and you can take it as part of Fucosea! According to the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention (2004), “Intake of seaweeds is advised not only for prevention of lifestyle-related diseases [such as cerebrovascular] but also iodine deficiency.”

A 1991 double-blind crossover study in the American Journal of Hypertension showed that sea plants supported healthy blood pressure levels by blocking sodium in the system. Wakame capsules were used in another study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry Nutrition (2001) where the results showed attractive drops in blood pressure. Another double-blind, placebo-controlled study, published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2009) found that volunteers who took six grams of wakame daily showed a significant decrease in blood pressure in those whose levels were high.

We at Herbsea recommend that if you are concerned about blood pressure (have a family history, for example), definitely watch your salt/sodium intake by reading labels. On average, Americans ingest approximately 3,400 mg sodium every day; and according to experts at the American Heart Association, consuming no more than 1,500 mg sodium daily is very effective in promoting healthy blood pressure levels. (Remember: the sodium content on the labels is per serving, not for the entire product.)

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