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As a Sacramento Chiropractor I am concerned about the overall health of my patients. And, though chiropractic adjustments can go a long way in helping individuals to achieve better overall health, diet and exercise are always contributing factors. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, excess weight can create a multitude of problems. One of the health challenges my overweight patients experience is high blood pressure and, unfortunately, many of them are forced to take medication to manage their blood pressure until they can achieve the kind of weight loss that will naturally regulate it. And, even though the side effects of blood pressure medications can be serious, high blood pressure is also a serious problem that has been linked to increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and kidney failure. Most people with high blood pressure are keenly aware of certain food additives to avoid, like salt and sugar. These particular additives are not usually a consideration for people who do not have a history of high blood pressure, but a new study may make even those who rarely think about their blood pressure sit up and take notice. Dr. Michel Chonchol and his colleagues at the University of Colorado Denver Health Sciences Center found that eating too much fructose may raise blood pressure in people without a history of high blood pressure.

After analyzing data on sugar consumption from a survey of more than 4500 adults who ate an average of 74 grams of fructose every day (equivalent to four soft drinks), they found a definitive association between high consumption of fructose and increased blood pressure. One-third of the participants had borderline high blood pressure and eight percent suffered from hypertension. Not surprisingly, the Corn Refiners Association suggested in a press release cited by Reuters that the researchers unfairly attributed all the effect of sugars to fructose. And, in all fairness, it is true that the study could not separate the effects of fructose and glucose. But, men participating in a similar study who were given 200 grams of fructose per day for two weeks, in addition to their normal direct, did show a significant elevation in their blood pressure. In fact, in most of the participants the systolic blood pressure increased by six millimeters and the diastolic blood pressure by three millimeters.

The good news is that most of the elevated blood pressure readings returned to normal after two months, which also means that if you are someone who hasn’t been watching your fructose intake because you haven’t been concerned about your blood pressure, you can reverse the negative effects, relatively quickly, that soft drinks and excessive fruit juice intake may be having on your health.

The best solution, of course, is to eat a healthy nutritious diet, get regular exercise, and see your chiropractor in Sacramento regularly!