The Expert’s Expert: Mark Houston, MD

Aging Well – The Energy Starved Heart

Mark Houston, MD - A Leading Physician and Expert in natural and medical treatment of heart disease and the prevention of premature aging.

Superstar Physician: Mark C. Houston, M.D.

Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Vanderbilt
Director, Hypertension Institute and Vascular Biology
Life Extension Institute, Saint Thomas Medical Group

Mark Houston, M.D., is the co-author with Barry Fox, Ph.D., and Nadine Taylor, M.S., R.D., of What Your Doctor Does Not Tell You About Hypertension: The Revolutionary Nutrition and Lifestyle Program to Help Fight High Blood Pressure.

Mark Houston, MD - Leader in Reversing Heart Disease w/ Supplements, Lifestyle, and Medications

What happens if high blood pressure isn’t treated?

The most common problems that occur over time are stroke, heart attack, heart failure and kidney failure. In addition, loss of vision may occur.

What do people NOT know about high blood pressure? IT IS SILENT!

1. They do not realize that it may not have any symptoms until it is very high or a stroke or heart attack occur.
2. There are many lifestyle changes such as diet, proper nutrition, exercise, weight loss and nutritional supplements that may lower BP  and allow them to avoid medications.
3. Many of the new blood pressure medications (ACE inhibitors, ARBs) are much better. These  have low side effects and are very effective – even to the point of reversing some heart disease.

What are effective things people with high blood pressure can do at home?

  1. Eat less salt (sodium), take in more potassium and magnesium.
  2. Increase the number of fruits and vegetables to 10 servings per day, avoid foods with high sodium and don’t use the salt shaker.
  3. Increasing cold-water fish in the diet, like salmon, tuna, cod and herring, is healthy.
  4. Eating high quality protein that is organic and lean is also good.
  5. Increasing olive-oil products and nuts and reducing trans fats and saturated fats.
  6. Reducing sugars, refined carbohydrates and sweets and increasing fiber with oat bran and vegetables.
  7. They should get close to their ideal body weight.
  8. Exercise 60 minutes per day, and include both aerobic and anerobic exercise.
  9. Get 8 hrs of sleep (very underrated), relax and reduce stress, avoid tobacco and limit alcohol to < 1 drink / day.
  10. Avoid caffeine, which increases blood pressure, heart rate and stiffen the arteries.

What is the most important thing for patients to know about HBP? IT IS A “SILENT” KILLER

  1. High blood pressure is genetic (inherited) in 90%. If one or both parents have HBP, the risk for getting it is about 50-80%.
  2. HBP is a “silent killer” in that there are no symptoms until a cardiovascular event happens.
  3. HBP is treatable with both lifestyle changes and medications.
  4. Once treated to a normal BP of 120/80 mm Hg, risk is normal again.
  5. Have your blood pressure checked at least twice per year.

Dr. Mark Houston’s CV Continued:

High School: Jackson High School – Valedictorian. College: Rhodes – BA  Chemistry, Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, President of Honor Council, ODK, Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities, Rhodes Scholar Semifinalist

Medical School: Vanderbilt – 1974, VALEDICTORIAN, Alpha Omega Alpha, Kaiser Fellowship

Internship and Residency in Medicine: University of CA, San Francisco – 74-77. Chief Resident in Medicine: Vanderbilt 77-78

  • Best Teacher in Medicine (Hillman Award) – 1978. Vanderbilt Full Time Faculty – 1978-1990
  • Assistant and Associate Professor of Medicine
  • Co-Director of Medical Intensive Care Unit
  • Director of Cooperative Care Center
  • Chief of Clinical Section – General Internal Medicine
  • Medical Director of Executive Physical Program
  • Saint Thomas Hospital – 1990-Present

  • Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine – Vanderbilt
  • Director of Hypertension Institute and Vascular Biology
  • Director of Life Extension Institute
  • Associate Director, Clinical Research, Hypertension Institute
  • Section Chief, Division of Nutrition, Hypertension Institute
  • Director, CME, Hypertension Institute
  • Board Certifications:

  • National Board Medical Examiners (NBME) 1975
  • American Board Internal Medicine (ABIM) 1977
  • Specialist in Clinical Hypertension (SCH-ASH) 1999
  • American Board Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) (ABAAM) 2003
  • Fellowships:

  • American College of Physicians (ACP) 1984 (FACP)
  • National Council on High Blood Pressure (NCHBP) 1996
  • International Society Hypertension in Blacks (ISHIB) 1999
  • American Heart Association (AHA) 2001 (FAHA)
  • Editor in Chief, Journal of American Nutraceutical Association (JANA)

    Editorial Board, Editorial Consultant or Reviewer for 20 medical journals: ANA, JAMA, NEJM, AIM, Hypertension

    Board of Trustees – COSEHC (The Consortium for Southeastern Hypertension Control)

    Advisory Boards:

  • Vascular Biology and Hypertension Consultants (RDR), DICE (Doxazosin Investigators and Consultant Exchange), Health Trac Hypertension Advisory Board, Protocols: Strategies from Experts in Cardiology,National Bureau for Information on CHD, Helios Health Hypertension Expert, Kronos Clinical Age Management, Vascular Biology Working Group, Chair, Medical Advisory Board – ANA (American Nutraceutical Association), Vascular Institute – Saint Thomas Hospital, Medical Liaison to Institute of Medicine (IOM) for the NIH and Agency for HRQC and Alternative Medicine, 2003
  • Clinical Research in Hypertension: Over 60 studies conducted in hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases Lectures: Over 6,000 national and international lectures and symposia on Hypertension and Vascular Biology.


    • Handbook of Antihypertensive Therapy by Houston et al
    • Vascular Biology for the Clinician by Houston
    • What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Hypertension by Houston et al
    • Over 120 medical articles and scientific abstracts in peer reviewed journals
    • Over 20 books, book chapters and monographs
    • Over 50 newspaper articles and magazines
    • Over 10 films and videos

    Teaching: Active in teaching medical students, interns and residents from Vanderbilt

    Clinical Practice, Nashville, Hypertension Institute:

    Internal Medicine with Hypertension Specialty, Saint Thomas Medical Group, Preventive Cardiology, Lipid Clinic, Clinical Age Management, Nutrition

    Continued Professional Degrees:

  • Masters of Science in Clinical Human Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut (2003)