Book Review Index
by Jay S Cohen MD
Square One Publishers,
NY11040, USA, 2004. 92 pages, $5.95
This useful little book is in the same series as the one we reviewed last August (The Magnesium Solution for Migraine Sufferers).
High blood pressure accounts for more trips to the doctor than any other condition. Almost always, patients are put on prescription drugs. As Dr. Galgut has been saying so eloquently in these pages, ALL drugs have side-effects. [This is no small matter: side effects to prescription drugs in hospital are the 4th leading cause of death in the United States[ii],[iii].]
Moreover, doctors do not like to admit that, using drugs to lower blood pressure, does not reduce your risk of cardio-vascular disease to the same extent of someone who has the lower level naturally. In other words, drugs are dealing with the symptoms not the cause.
Dr. Cohen looks at one probable underlying cause of high blood pressure -- magnesium deficiency. He describes how up to 75% of Americans are deficient in this mineral and as a consequence are sick in many ways. Doctors are widely ignorant about magnesium and tend to think of drugs as first resort rather than last.
Dr. Cohen explains how magnesium is an essential micronutrient in maintaining suppleness in the walls of blood vessels. In magnesium deficiency, the vessels become stiffer and so do not absorb the blood pressure surges properly.
Dr. Cohen reviews many of the other lifestyle factors that are responsible for high blood pressure. These include obesity, lack of exercise, low fiber intake, salt, alcohol and smoking. However, even correcting these matters (particularly in black Americans) is not very effective; magnesium must be corrected too.
Dr. Cohen does not claim that fixing magnesium deficiency will “cure” high blood pressure. Rather it is usually an overlooked piece of the jigsaw in a pattern of factors to be corrected.
This eminently readable book has guidance on the types of magnesium available and how to find the right dose for you. As commented on page 1, we should all be nervous of the aggressive side-effects of drugs.
The insights in this book offer a valuable avenue for high blood pressure sufferers to explore. Of course, we at Natural Eating would say that taking pills -- even magnesium pills -- can only be a stop-gap measure. We should all be changing our eating habits so that we get ALL our nutrients from food. By feeding our bodies in the way that our bodies were designed by our ancient past, then all these kind of food-induced diseases will disappear of their own accord.
[ii] Lazarou, JAMA. 1998 Apr 15;279(15):1200-5.