For many people, the stress of seeing the doctor makes blood pressure soar. Physicians have been arguing about the significance of this “white coat hypertension” for decades. Does it lead to overtreatment? Or does it signal a problem that cries out for treatment? New research shows how home blood pressure readings stack up.

We all know we should eat our vegetables and fruits, but we don’t always appreciate the science behind specific plant foods. Blueberries are not only tasty, but they can have an important impact on our metabolism.

Explore the stories behind the health headlines.

Guests: Mary Ann Lila, PhD, is Director of the Plants for Human Health Institute and David H. Murdock Distinguished Professor at the North Carolina Research Campus of North Carolina State University. Her websites are and The photo is of Dr. Lila.
Benjamin J. Powers, MD, is Assistant Professor of Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine. His study of blood pressure measurement was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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  1. a.g.

    If you have ‘white coat” syndrome I would suggest buying a blood pressure unit you can use in the comfort of your home. it can give you a much more accurate assessment of your true blood pressure. I find my BP to be a little higher at doc’s office than at home.

  2. FB

    Enjoyed last Saturday’s show. Would like blueberry smoothie recipe.
    2 teaspoons fish oil
    1 frozen banana
    1 cup fresh or frozen mixed berries
    If using fresh berries: 1 cup crushed ice
    ¾ cup plain yogurt
    ½ cup pomegranate or cherry juice
    ½ cup pasteurized egg whites (or roughly 4 eggs’ worth)
    4 tablespoons whey powder
    2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
    Add all ingredients to blender. Puree until smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides once or twice with a spatula to ensure that the mixture is evenly blended. Pour into tall glasses and enjoy right away, or chill in the refrigerator overnight. Makes two generous servings.

  3. Janie

    I developed “white coat” right after my doc said if my BP was 140 for 2 visits in a row she would insist on BP meds (don’t wanna). Now when her assistant takes my BP I worry about that and it elevates to 140/90. Some of her assistants are not so good at taking it — but the doc takes it again near the end of the visit.
    Funny thing is this: at my OTHER doctor’s office (GI), my BP is almost ALWAYS 120/75. Sometimes 110/75. I sit quietly in a chair and they bring the cuff to me. At the other place they weigh me (stress) then have me climb up on an exam table which is located near the wall-mounted BP cuff. I say “climb” because it is hard to get up there with my short little legs

  4. Michelle

    Joe… please pass on the blueberry smoothie recipe you talked about on your recent show with Dr. Lila. Thank you! LOVE YOUR SHOW!!!

  5. Rob

    Just to clarify, the Supreme Court opinion in Pliva Inc. v. Mensing wasn’t “just because . . .” No, this case was decided because Congress passed different rules for generic drug manufacturers. And the Supreme Court did not find that the FDA improperly enforced the labeling law created by Congress. So says the Supreme Court:
    But “it is not this Court’s task to decide whether the statutory scheme established by Congress is unusual or even bizarre.” [citation omitted] . . . It is beyond dispute that the federal statutes and regulations that apply to brand-name drug manufacturers are meaningfully different than those that apply to generic drug manufacturers. . . As always, Congress and the FDA retain the authority to change the law and regulations if they so desire.

  6. missy b.

    I always enjoy your show, I listen every week. Today June 25 you gave a recipe for your smoothie but I can’t find it, please send to my email, thanks

  7. Paul G.

    Hi,I’ve also had some different experiences with blueberries. Once I over picked an amount that I thought I could use over a couple of weeks and found that they ripened faster than that, so, I ate 10 pounds of them in a day. Some of the blue in the berry, hardened the skin at the back of the leg behind the knee and turned the skin brown. Also a friend of mine makes a blueberry liquor drink, it dries up the nose in the winter at the shot glass level and lasts for about 10 hours. FYI pg1246 o&o

  8. judy

    I recently began seeing a Cardiology Consultant who performed an ablation. He overbooks and for my three follow up appointments I waited an average of three hours in a tiny, hot, crowded waiting room. My first appointment was 4 hours late. During this wait one lady was sent out to the waiting room due to an emergency in the exam area. It was very obvious she was having a heart attack. Before they took her back in, one man went out, through the waiting room, with an ambulance crew. Within five minutes of the lady going back in, she was taken away via ambulance. This certainly raised my BP.
    Two of the three assistants who took my vitals preparing me for my appointment with the specialist were poorly trained so my blood pressure readings and EKGs were improperly done.
    The results have always been an increase in blood pressure reading, which resulted in an increase to my BP med. He manages to dismiss my twice daily in home readings I take in to him. The last time he said he wanted me to take an even higher dosage so I suggested he look at his staff and perform the necessary tests as the patients first enter the waiting room. Then I walked out and haven’t been back.

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