The smooth muscle cells building the walls of the arteries contract and relax without our control. Their efficient contraction and relaxation cycle supports blood circulation and maintains optimum blood pressure and circulatory health. The spasm of smooth muscle cells reduces internal diameters of the blood vessel walls impairing blood flow, and their relaxation widens these passages and decreases the pressure of blood on their walls.
The smooth muscle cells that build the blood vessel walls also compose many other organs. They build the walls of air passages in the respiratory tract, the gall bladder and urinary bladder, and they are also found throughout the entire gastrointestinal tract and in the eyes, among others.
Therefore, it is not surprising that nourishment and specific micronutrients supporting optimum function of the smooth muscle cells have a positive impact on the function of many organs in our body which are made of this type of cells. Some of these micronutrients are also important for protecting cells against oxidative damage and production of natural “relaxing factors.”
Key synergy nutrients:
Vitamins C is an indispensable nutrient for cardiovascular health. It is needed for the production of prostacyclin which is important in blood vessel relaxation and maintaining healthy blood viscosity. Vitamin C is also essential for collagen production which is responsible for the strength and integrity of blood vessels, lung passages, intestinal walls and other organs.
B vitamins play an important role in maintaining healthy blood pressure and homocysteine metabolism. A high level of homocysteine is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, including hypertension. Homocysteine may elevate blood pressure by damaging vascular endothelial integrity, increasing arterial stiffness, and reducing vasodilatory capacity. This risk is even greater for those carrying a common genetic variant (677C->T mutation) of the gene encoding folate metabolizing enzyme (MTHFR). Those individuals may benefit from supplementation of B vitamins, especially in their activated forms.
Magnesium is required for the formation of prostacyclin and nitric oxide which have a significant impact on contraction and relaxation of blood vessels. In addition, magnesium may prevent vascular injury via its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory functions.
L-arginine is the source of nitric oxide (NO) called the” relaxing factor.” It works together with vitamin C which aids in the process of NO production and contributes to the relaxation effect. Arginine is a “conditionally essential” amino acid and its supplementation becomes necessary under certain physiological conditions.
Celery Seed Extract has been widely researched due to its diverse health benefits, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Its antihypertensive properties have been attributed to a compound called L-3-n-butylphthalide (3nB), which may exert vasodilatory and diuretic effects and thus help in maintaining healthy blood pressure.
Green Tea Extract has been demonstrated to enhance cardiovascular and metabolic health. It can aid in maintaining a healthy blood pressure and improve other cardiovascular risk factors such as oxidative stress, inflammation, blood lipid profile and sugar metabolism.
Grape Seed Extract is known to support vascular elasticity and normal blood pressure by its positive effects on mechanisms involved in blood pressure regulation, including production of endothelial “relaxing factor” - nitric oxide. In addition, grape seed extract may modulate stress perception resulting in enhancing positive mood.
Clove Bud Extract provides a broad spectrum of health benefits from digestive aid to anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular support. Many of its benefits have been attributed to eugenol a bioactive compound in cloves. Eugenol has been identified as vasorelaxant while its derivative acetyl eugenol was found to inhibit platelet aggregation which may help with improving blood flow and preventing excessive blood clot formation.