Dr. Antonio Vivaldi, who has been involved in holistic sciences for over twenty years both as a therapist and as a teacher, illustrates the causes and risks of hypertension.


Blood pressure is one of the many biological constants that allow the body to survive. The role of blood pressure in the arteries is to maintain sufficient blood debt, which allows the transport of nutrients and oxygen to all cells.

The pressure directly follows the heart rhythm, with a maximum corresponding to the heart contraction (systolic pressure) and a minimum following the relaxation of the heart muscle (diastolic pressure).

Specialists consider a subject with hypertension when the two figures are higher than 140/90, in the resting phase and in a habitual manner. The higher the blood pressure, the greater the risk of heart attack or cerebral vascular disease. Surely this statement must be corroborated by specialists, it is also known that other problems should be present at the same time:

  • excess cholesterol and / or triglycerides
  • imbalance between prostaglandins and tromboxans

These factors are frequently encountered in Western countries in the presence of a hectic life and an industrial and increasingly refined diet.


Experts say it: with exceptions, one is not born hypertensive, but one becomes one.

It is therefore the lifestyle, stress , nutrition, which are the factors directly responsible for hypertension.

In Western countries, aging is the number one cause of hypertension. This is normal, as the arteries, as they harden with age, lose some of their capacity to dilate to absorb changes in blood volume. One possibility of progressively reducing this natural physiological phenomenon is to allow the body to maintain good levels of NO (nitric oxide) production.

Nitric oxide (ON, or nitrogen oxide) is a molecule created by a nitrogen atom attached to an oxygen atom. It is one of the smallest molecules found in nature. It turns out to be fundamental to all life - human, animal, insect and plant. In our body, ON is created within the vascular, nerve and immune cells. It is rhythmically released into the surrounding tissues as a gas. It participates in the vital functions of the main organic systems.

We have more than 160,000 kilometers of blood vessels that create an endothelial surface larger than a football field. When the endothelial cells are healthy they snort ON. In the presence of ON, the blood vessels are flexible, elastic and capable of naturally expanding and contracting with the pulse of the blood. At the same time, ON acts as an immune tonic that searches for and destroys bacteria, viruses and free radicals through the endothelium.

And of course it allows you to keep what flows inside the arteries and veins as fluid as possible. (A law of physics says that: the more the density of a liquid increases, the more you have to increase the pressure to pump this liquid, and let's remember that the heart is an amazing hydraulic pump).

What allows us to keep these elements in balance:

  • A balanced diet
  • Lower stress levels
  • Correct integration.

In summary, pressure problems arise from :

  • a too abundant diet;
  • deficiencies of essential fatty acids;
  • deficiencies in anthocyanins, plant substances present in numerous varieties of fruit and vegetables, which affect the quality of the arterial tunic;
  • imbalance in mineralization, which causes calcium deposits in the arteries;
  • potassium deficiency, due to an increasingly refined diet;
  • a diet too rich in salt, preservatives, refined cereals and sugars
  • Unbalance of ON


Sodium works in combination with potassium , in a very subtle balance in which sodium allows the conservation of water in the body, while potassium allows the elimination of this water.

An excess of potassium in the diet causes excessive water loss; an excess of sodium causes the retention of organic liquids, and it is this retention that affects the circulatory volume, increasing it and thus increasing blood pressure.

In fact, blood pressure is modulated by several elements: the blood volume and the ability of the arteries to dilate or not. The first factor directly depends on the sodium concentration of organic liquids, the excess of which increases the water volume. The other two factors depend on potassium and nitric oxide

It is evident that an excess of sodium in relation to potassium will increase blood pressure in the arteries. A larger blood volume than normal, with a less effective heart and with arteries that cannot sufficiently increase their transport capacity, necessarily increases blood pressure.

When a person begins to suffer from high blood pressure, usually in addition to administering medicines, the doctor recommends decreasing the amount of table salt (sodium chloride).

Have we ever wondered if the modest amount of salt, generally used to enrich our dishes, could really be so decisive in high blood pressure?

Of course, high blood pressure also comes from increased water retention and salt is a component of this process.

Is there any other mechanism that contributes to the rise in blood pressure?

Nature has provided us with a fundamental tool to regulate the right amount of salt in our body, that is, the stimulation of thirst .

In fact, when we eat a salty food, immediately after we perceive the stimulus of thirst. This is because the kidneys need water to remove excess salt, forming urine, usually a lot of water in proportion to the excess salt.

Despite this perfect mechanism (except in the case of specific pathologies) why do we suffer from water retention and therefore in old age, from high blood pressure?

Why do the kidneys, instead of doing their job, decide to retain the salt and therefore also the water?

The answers are very simple. But it is interesting to note that the body has a hormone called aldosterone at its disposal, the presence of which causes the kidneys to retain sodium and eliminate potassium. The production of this hormone is stimulated by insulin. When we ingest refined carbohydrates and sugars, insulin also activates aldosterone, which in turn commands the kidneys to retain salt. This depends on the fact that salt is a fundamental tool for regulating the osmosis phenomenon and thus forcing the cells to assimilate glucose from the extracellular matrix. However, this causes water retention and therefore high blood pressure induced by the increase in the volume of water in the blood. Salt certainly plays a role in this metabolic action, but if we ate smaller amounts of refined carbohydrates and sugars, the kidneys could more easily eliminate it in the urine.