7 Supplements That May Lower Your Blood Pressure

June 06, 2021

7 Supplements That May Lower Your Blood Pressure

Hypertension or high blood pressure is a condition that affects approximately 1 in 3 people worldwide. It continues to be the leading cause of deaths that are related to cardiovascular disease. [1


Undeniably, it is crucial to keep your blood pressure readings within normal limits. Uncontrolled blood pressure may lead to severe health problems and injure vital organs such as your heart, kidneys, eyes, and brain. [2


If your doctor has diagnosed you with high blood pressure, he may put you on some medications to help bring your blood pressure down. Other than taking your medications, dietary modifications, lifestyle changes, and supplements may also help in reducing your blood pressure. 


Of course, supplements are not meant to replace your prescribed medications. Furthermore, you should first consult your healthcare provider to determine if these supplements are safe for you. 


However, certain dietary supplements may be helpful. Based on various studies, here are 7 supplements that research has suggested can bring your blood pressure down! They may help safeguard your health and preserve organ function in the long run. 


Despite this, there are still risks and side effects associated with their use. Let’s explore the risks versus benefits of these supplements! 


Magnesium 


Magnesium is a vital nutrient needed for the proper functioning of your body. This mineral plays multiple roles in the body, from ensuring that your nerves and muscle cells function correctly to supporting your immune system. [3


In addition to that, it also regulates your blood glucose level and keeps your bones dense and sturdy. [3


Apart from all that, magnesium can support your cardiovascular health! Several studies have suggested that taking magnesium supplements may lower your blood pressure readings. [4,5


The blood-pressure-lowering effects are amplified in specific individuals. They are heightened in those who have insulin resistance, are prediabetic, or have non-transmissible chronic diseases. [6


In a review, consuming 365 to 450mg of magnesium per day for over three months leads to substantial blood pressure reductions. [6] However, there is no established dosing regimen for magnesium supplements. [7


Take caution as there is a possibility of side effects. Some people may experience nausea, vomiting, and stomach upset. To err on the side of caution, you may want to take a maximum dose of 350mg per day. [7


Only proceed beyond that dose if a healthcare professional has advised you to do so. Doses that are too high may cause low blood pressure, slowed breathing, and irregular heartbeat. [7


If you’re not fond of swallowing pills, you may consider increasing your intake of foods rich in magnesium. These include spinach, nuts, whole grains, and pumpkin seeds. [8


Potassium 


Potassium is essential for your muscle and nerves to work correctly and for your heart to beat normally. This electrolyte has been commonly studied and associated with blood pressure reduction. Moreover, it can even offset the harmful effects of sodium. Sodium is a notoriously well-known mineral that can increase your blood pressure in excess amounts! [9


In fact, the more potassium you take, the more sodium you will lose through urination. Potassium reduces the tension of your blood vessel walls, helping to lower your blood pressure. [10


Numerous studies have recommended potassium supplements as adjuvant therapy. [11,12] That means you can take it alongside your usual hypertensive medications for more significant improvements. Of course, you should consult your doctor beforehand. 


There is a reason why you should seek professional advice before commencing on these supplements. 


Unfortunately, there are risks associated with taking these supplements. Hence, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended a limit of 100mg per serving for over-the-counter potassium chloride supplements. 


Furthermore, an overdose of potassium supplements has dangerous consequences. It may lead to irregular heartbeat, coma, and confusion. Some people may even experience an upset stomach or allergic reactions at regular doses. [13


To mitigate the risk of these adverse effects, you may wish to include more potassium in your diet instead. Foods packed with potassium include apricots, bananas, broccoli, spinach, and fresh tomatoes. [14]


COQ10 


Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) exists as a substance that is naturally found in your body. It is present in the highest concentrations in your liver, heart, pancreas, and kidneys. [15]


CoQ10 is one of the more popular supplements marketed in the United States. In fact, certain diseases have been linked to a reduced level of CoQ10 in the body. This garnered the interest of scientists and researchers to investigate if CoQ10 supplementation could confer benefits on the consumer. [15]


One analysis revealed that CoQ10 supplements could help with lowering systolic blood pressure but had no effect on diastolic blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure is the top reading displayed by your blood pressure measuring device. [16


However, the effect of CoQ10 on blood pressure is quite a controversial topic, and a few other studies have shown that CoQ10 supplementation had no clinically significant impact in reducing blood pressure. [17,18]


Hence, more substantial research is required to confirm if this supplement can benefit consumers diagnosed with hypertension. [19


There is no established recommended dose, but a typical daily dose is 100mg to 200mg.[20]  


If you wish to try this supplement out for your blood pressure, you should consult your healthcare provider beforehand. By doing this, you can ensure the product is safe for you and receive advice regarding the specific dosing regimen for the product. [20


Fish Oil 


Fish oil supplements are one of the most popular and widely marketed supplements in numerous countries. These supplements are packed with omega-3, an unsaturated fatty acid, in DHA and EPA forms. [21


One review demonstrates that consuming DHA and EPA sources, including fish oil supplements, can lower blood pressure to an impressive degree. [22] However, like many other supplements, the evidence can be quite conflicting, and the cardioprotective effects of fish oil supplements have yet to be confirmed thoroughly. [23,24


On the other hand, there is more concrete evidence regarding the benefits of including various seafood in your diet as it is rich in omega-3. 


Some studies have discovered that including seafood in your diet at least once a week puts you at a lower risk of dying from heart disease. This is in comparison to those who rarely ate seafood or did not eat any at all! [24


Foods packed with omega-3 include salmon, mackerel, tuna, flaxseed oil, chia seeds, and walnuts. Omega-3 can lead to better cardiovascular health, lower inflammation to improve arthritis symptoms, and lower harmful cholesterol levels in your body. [25


Unsurprisingly, you may be keen on taking this supplement to boost your health. However, fish oil supplements may interact dangerously with certain medications, especially blood-thinning medications. Hence, it is best to seek professional advice before commencing on this supplement. [24


L-arginine 


L-arginine is an amino acid, a chemical building block. This amino acid is converted inside the body to nitric oxide, which acts as a potent vasodilator. Nitric oxide stimulates the blood vessels inside your body to dilate or open wider to improve blood flow. [26


In several studies, L-arginine has been found to reduce blood pressure readings to a modest degree. The reduction was seen in normotensive adults (who had regular blood pressure readings) and hypertensive adults. [27,28


Similar to many other supplements, there is no standard ideal dosing for L-arginine. A typical dosage studied in research is 2 to 3 grams three times a day. However, many of these studies are short-term, and the effects of long-term use are unclear. Hence, the best route to take is to ask your doctor which dosing regimen is the most suitable for you. [29


Besides that, you can also get arginine in your daily diet. Foods high in arginine include walnuts, cashews, corn, cereals, and oats. [29


Probiotics


Probiotics are live helpful microorganisms, including bacteria and yeasts, consumed to receive certain health benefits. [30]


In general, probiotics interact with the bacteria that occur naturally in your gut and support your body in maintaining a healthy balance of microorganisms in your intestines. Additionally, they can also affect the response of your immune system. [30]


Multitudes of studies have investigated the benefits of consuming probiotics. Probiotics have been associated with benefits such as reducing the severity of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, infectious diarrhea, allergies, and lactose intolerance. [31]


Unsurprisingly, probiotics have been tied to an abundance of health benefits. This includes your heart’s health as well. Research has found moderate to significant reductions in blood pressure with the use of probiotics. [32,33


Generally, probiotics have been utilized extensively and safely in many people. Still, they may pose a risk to those who are immunocompromised or have a severe illness. To a certain extent, they may even interact with your current medications. [30]


Ask your healthcare professional for advice. If you have any severe illnesses, you should be monitored closely if you are taking probiotics. [30]


Other than that, fermented food is typically rich in probiotics. This includes Greek yogurt, kimchi, miso soup, pickles, and cottage cheese. Some of these foods, such as cottage cheese and pickles, are high in sodium. Hence, it is not recommended you consume them if you are hypertensive. [34


B-vitamins and folic acid


B-vitamins consist of 8 water-soluble vitamins that are vital for many metabolic processes that occur in your body. [35


Because the body cannot store these water-soluble vitamins, any excess is removed in the urine. Hence, you will need to consume enough B-vitamins in your diet regularly. [35


Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, has been shown in multiple studies to be beneficial in lowering blood pressure for those who have a particular gene mutation which predisposes them to a higher risk of getting hypertension. [36,37


Folic acid is also known as vitamin B9. According to one study, folic acid improves the function of blood vessels in your body and can reduce blood pressure. However, the study was conducted among preschool children. [38


Still, a few other studies have further supported this claim, though they have also warranted that further research is needed to confirm it. [39,40


Ultimately, you need to consult a healthcare professional to weigh the risks versus benefits of consuming B-vitamins. Some vitamins may be toxic when consumed in excessive amounts or even mask the symptoms of other vitamin deficiencies. [35


B-vitamins are easily sourced from a large variety of foods. However, your body has a limited capacity to store the excess vitamins in your body for future use. [35


Hence, a person who has a poor diet or has a medical condition that hinders absorption of nutrients in the intestine may have vitamin B deficiency. [35


If you fall into these categories, you may seek advice from your doctor and find the best option for you. Ultimately, you want to ensure your body receives sufficient vitamins and nutrients daily. [35


Conclusion 


To summarize, there are no supplements guaranteed to bring your blood pressure down substantially. They may be helpful when used alongside your hypertension medications and complement lifestyle modifications, such as increasing physical exercise or eating a more balanced diet. 


Despite this, there are some risks associated with supplement use. Hence, always consult a trusted healthcare provider to ensure it is safe for you before commencing on the supplement. 



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