This Hidden Cause of Hypertension Might Boost Your Immunity

Dr. Frank Shallenberger, MD
August 13, 2018


Do you know what “essential” hypertension is? It’s the term doctors use for hypertension when they don’t have the slightest clue what causes it. And the overwhelming majority of cases are dubbed “essential.”

That’s right! Most doctors don’t know what causes most cases of high blood pressure.

For most doctors, it just comes out of the blue. They pay no attention to a deficiency of minerals, such as magnesium and potassium. They ignore toxins like lead and mercury, which most Americans have in their body. Until recently, they even ignored the role of diet and lifestyle.

Most just chalk it up to stress and age. You can’t do anything about it except relax.

I’ve shown you time and time again that there’s plenty you can do to lower your blood pressure. And it’s a good thing there’s something you can do about it. One in three Americans have the problem, which is also dubbed the silent killer. It can lead to sudden death from a heart attack or stroke with no warning signs!

While most doctors have ignored these causes, and even my solutions, scientists recently discovered another cause of hypertension that doctors won’t be able to ignore….

This newly found cause is a virus called cytomegalovirus or CMV.

Why will they pay attention? Because Big Pharma will spend bazillions to find chemicals to treat the virus. Doctors and you will be bombarded with Pharma propaganda. Problem is there’s no safe drug treatment for viruses. And, in my opinion, there never will be a safe synthetic chemical treatment for viruses. Fortunately, there is something you can do about it. But first, let’s look at the virus and why it can cause your blood pressure to go up.

CMV affects between 60-99% percent of adults worldwide. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center researchers have found that CMV infection is a cause of hypertension. And, when coupled with other risk factors for heart disease, the virus can lead to the development of atherosclerosis.

Past studies had already determined that the CMV virus was a cause of re-stenosis (re-blocking of vessels) in angioplasty patients. They also linked CMV to the development of atherosclerosis. But no one knew the mechanism.

This new study brought together a unique investigative team of researchers. It included infectious disease, cardiology, allergy, and pathology specialists. They found a very simple cause. It’s one that I’ve talked about repeatedly here, that scientists had overlooked — inflammation (in this case, it’s viral-induced).

The scientists used four groups of laboratory rodents. They fed two groups a standard diet. And they fed two other groups a high cholesterol diet. They ate these diets for four weeks. Then, the researchers infected one standard diet mouse group and one high-cholesterol diet group with the CMV virus. The other group of each diet served as controls.

Six weeks later, the scientists inserted a small catheter into the animals’ carotid artery to measure their blood pressure. In the standard diet groups, the CMV-infected mice had increased blood pressure compared with the uninfected group. But there was more drama in the high-cholesterol groups. In addition to hypertension, 30% of the CMV-infected mice that were fed a high-cholesterol diet also showed signs of developing atherosclerosis.

The researchers then turned to causes. They discovered that CMV infection stimulated the production of three different inflammatory cytokines (proteins) -IL6, TNF, and MCP1. This strongly suggested that the virus was causing inflammation in vascular cells and other tissues.

But this story gets even better. Have you heard of ACE inhibitors? ACE is angiotensin converting enzyme. You might even be on a chemical drug to reduce ACE activity! ACE is an enzyme stimulated by kidneys that increases blood pressure. Your kidney is responsible for eliminating waste by blood filtration. If they’re not getting sufficient blood, they call for more by making an enzyme called renin, which, in turn, increases ACE. Then your blood pressure goes up, getting more blood to your kidneys. It’s easy to understand why ACE would be high if your kidneys are compromised. But doctors haven't been able to explain why ACE would be high if you have normal kidney function.

Now, scientists have discovered that an infection can also increase ACE. The researchers in a second study infected mouse kidney cells with CMV. The infection led to an increase in the renin enzyme, which directly raises ACE. Human isolates of CMV infected cultured blood vessel cells also showed increased renin activity.

The researchers noted that “viruses have the ability to turn on human genes.” CMV was found to turn on the gene that makes renin. And renin is an enzyme directly linked to hypertension.

But here’s the real kicker. When the scientists inactivated the virus through the use of ultraviolet light (yes, ultraviolet light!), renin activity did not increase. The viruses had to actively replicate to cause the renin to increase.

And, in a final experiment, the researchers found that CMV infection increased the hypertension-causing protein angiotensin 11.

These findings are very important factors in hypertension in humans. The co-author of the study said, “A persistent viral infection in the vessels’ endothelial cells is leading to increased expression of inflammatory cytokines, renin, and angiotensin 11, which are leading to increased blood pressure.”

I’ve been telling you about inflammation as a cause of vascular disease for many years. C-reactive protein (CRP) is one such measure. It’s relatively cheap to measure. Unfortunately, inflammatory cytokines are more expensive to measure. You can measure CMV antibodies fairly inexpensively. Problem is, since most of the population is infected with it, antibodies alone won’t tell us if the infection is active in your blood vessels. But if you have hypertension and high CMV immune activity, it’s well worth considering CMV as a cause of hypertension.

The Benefits of CMV – Yes, Benefits!

Now, just because you have CMV doesn’t mean you’re going to have high blood pressure. The virus can cause a host of health problems, including mononucleosis and pneumonia. But there’s one thing most people don’t realize about it – CMV can be good for you.

In fact, I’ve been telling you for years that viruses and bacteria are good for us. This obsession that we have about constantly disinfecting everything around us for fear of infections is unhealthy. Of course, I’m not ignoring the importance of hygiene. More than any other modern day scientific discovery, hygiene is the most important reason we have been able to eliminate all of the infections that killed so many in the past. But, the point I make is that, leaving aside the issue of good hygiene, being exposed to bacteria and viruses is a good thing. And now a new study from my alma mater, The University of Arizona, is just another one of the many studies that backs up this concept.

Roughly 50% of us have been infected with cytomegalovirus. And it turns out that if you’re in this lucky group, it’s a good thing (unless it causes hypertension or other health issues). The new study shows that having cytomegalovirus in your body can be good for your immune system.  And that’s just what we need to help offset the natural decline in immune system activity as we get older.

To study the effect on the immune system of cytomegalovirus, the team took a group of older mice and infected half of them with the virus. Then, they exposed all of the mice to a bacteria (listeria) that would normally make them sick. Compared to the mice who were not infected with cytomegalovirus, the infected mice fought off the new virus more effectively. The researchers were absolutely surprised. According to author Megan Smithey, “We assumed it [previous cytomegalovirus infection] would make mice more vulnerable to other infections because it was using up resources and keeping the immune system busy. We were completely surprised; we expected these mice to be worse off. But they had a more robust, effective response to the [listeria] infection.” But, why is that?

It has to do with T-cells. T-cells are the foot soldiers of the immune system. The more active your T-cells are, the better prepared the immune system is to fight off a range of different infections. And the more infections we are exposed to, the more active our T-cell response is. This is especially true of the innate immune system. The innate immune system consists of T-cells that are assigned to the task of fighting off new infections from microbes that our body has never been exposed to before. This would include microbes brought in from other countries as well as microbes that have mutated. The mice infected with the cytomegalovirus had a particularly strong innate immune system activation.

So, learn from the research and protect your immune system. Avoid the casual use of antibiotics, vaccines, and all of those antibacterial wipes, mouthwashes, and soaps we are constantly being bombarded with. As this experiment shows, every time you get exposed to a new microbe, the result will be an activation of your immune system response. And in addition, I think it’s a great idea to take a good dose of the friendly bacteria in a potent probiotic at least once a week. The bacteria in your gut also activate your innate immune system.

This doesn’t mean that you should let the CMV cause health problems. If you have CMV and you’re experiencing high blood pressure, mononucleosis, pneumonia, or any other illness, then it’s a clear sign your immune system isn’t where it needs to be.

So How Do You Treat CMV and Lower Your Blood Pressure?

Take my word on this. There will never be a safe and effective synthetic chemical treatment for any virus. Most are designed to screw up viral DNA. However, viral DNA raw materials are the same as yours. There’s just no way to assure that chemical alterations to the raw materials won’t harm your own DNA function.

But what about alternative methods?

The researchers actually gave us the answer when they used ultraviolet light to inactivate the virus. That should ring a bell! One of my favorite therapies, ultraviolet blood irradiation or UBI, is one of the oxidation therapies I’ve repeatedly mentioned in my articles. Oxidation therapies can work wonders on viral infections. Researchers discovered decades ago that UBI knocks out polio and viral pneumonias. Intravenous hydrogen peroxide induces a major immune response to viruses. And world-class researcher Velio Bocci, MD dubbed ozone as the ideal immune-system modulator.

The Europeans have used UBI and ozone extensively to completely reverse vascular disease. And it works quickly! In this country, Baylor University researchers reported that intra-arterial hydrogen peroxide literally melted away arterial plaque downstream from the catheter tip.

These aren’t just coincidences. Oxidation therapies can directly kill foreign invaders without harming you. The therapies activate the immune system. Your white cells go out to destroy any foreign invader. And, best of all, they stimulate your own body to do the majority of the job. Furthermore, they reduce the very inflammatory cytokines induced by the infection. And, simultaneously, they raise anti-inflammatory cytokines.

I’ve got 30+ years of oxidation practice under my belt. That’s more, to the best of my knowledge, than anyone else outside of Europe. My very best results with hypertension and/or vascular disease did not come from intravenous chelation therapy alone. They came from combining oxidation therapy with chelation. And where chelation therapy failed, I’ve seen oxidation therapy help!

Action to Take

If you’re taking ACE inhibitors and they’re controlling your hypertension, it’s quite possible you have CMV-induced hypertension. Ask your doctor for a test for CMV activity. If positive, find a doctor who performs oxidation medicine at I’ve personally trained most of these doctors and have seen them use these treatments very effectively.

Please remember that controlling hypertension does little to prevent heart attacks. It does prevent a hemorrhagic stroke. The drugs that you’re taking might offset the higher blood pressure. But they are doing nothing to mitigate the real cause of the problem – inflammation. Though your pressure is controlled, the inflammation continues its arterial-damaging effects.

One Final Warning

Now that we know CMV infection is the root of many high blood pressure cases, you can be sure the drug companies are looking for synthetic chemical solutions. They may even throw antibiotics at it, which won’t help at all (antibiotics don’t kill viruses). So, if you have your doctor test for CMV and the result is positive, don’t take anything he prescribes for you. It won’t work. Instead, focus on oxidative therapies. I’d sure rather rely on these than anything Pharma can come up with.


Smithey MJ, Venturi V, et al. Lifelong CMV infection improves immune defense in old mice by broadening the mobilized TCR repertoire against third-party infection. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Jul 17;115(29)

Herpes virus may boost immune system function in old age by Michael Irving, July 8, 2018;

PLoS Pathogens, May 15, 2009.


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