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High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects millions of people across the globe. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 1 Billion adults (and more) worldwide have hypertension. When blood consistently exerts more force against arterial walls than is normal, this medical condition develops. Regrettably, if left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to severe health complications, including the following:
- Heart disease
- Kidney issues
For this reason, it is important to get the right treatment for this condition to ensure your overall health and to avoid these possible illnesses.
Fortunately, there are various ways to manage and reduce high blood pressure, including:
- Lifestyle changes
However, many individuals are also turning to high blood pressure supplements as a complementary approach to their treatment. In this post, we aim to:
- Educate you about high blood pressure supplements
- Provide clear understanding of what these supplements are
- How do these supplements work?
- Things you need to know before you add them to your health regimen (specifically if you or a loved one have high blood pressure)
What Are High Blood Pressure Supplements? Are There Supplements to Lower Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure supplements claim to help lower blood pressure levels or act as an adjunct to medical therapy. Most of them show clinical evidence of lowering blood pressure in hypertensive subjects.
It is important to note that supplements should not replace prescribed medications or medical advice from a healthcare professional. This means that you should not stop taking prescribed medications.
There are supplements, however, that are components of a diet. This means that you can get them through a balanced diet. Nonetheless, the majority are marketed to individuals who are seeking alternative ways to manage their blood pressure levels. You need to practice caution, however, because the word ‘alternative’ does not mean to replace the medications prescribed as maintenance.
These supplements often contain a combination of vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other natural ingredients that are believed to have potential blood pressure-lowering effects.
Even though some supplements may seem like they could be helpful in managing hypertension, it is important to be careful and talk to a doctor before using them. Additionally, always remember that they are not a substitute for lifestyle changes and prescribed medications recommended by healthcare professionals.
What Vitamins Are Best for High Blood Pressure?
If you want to control your blood pressure in a natural way, adding certain vitamins to your diet may help.
Various studies have shown that vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) can help lower blood pressure levels. A study published recently found that vitamin D3 supplementation significantly reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure among people who are hypertensive and among those who are more than 50 years of age.
A study published in 2012 showed a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure in elderly patients when vitamin C was added to their current antihypertensive medications. The results demonstrated that this specific population has refractory hypertension (not responding well to medications).
It is a vitamin-like substance that naturally occurs in most aerobic organisms. It is also an antioxidant, and there is some evidence that it can decrease the risk of cardiovascular mortality.
Added supplements with evidence of clinical reduction of high blood pressure include:
To reiterate, supplements claiming to lower blood pressure should always be used with caution and should not replace prescribed medications.
Does Vitamin D3 Lower Blood Pressure?
Yes, it has been shown that taking vitamin D3 can help lower blood pressure. Several studies have shown that keeping the body’s Vitamin D3 levels at a healthy level may help lower high blood pressure.
Its mechanism of action lies in the fact that calcitriol (in its active form) is able to regulate the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). The latter plays a vital role in the control of the body’s blood pressure.
The following are some critical facts about vitamin D3:
- It is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps keep the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the body at the right levels. You get it mostly by being exposed to the sun, but you can also get it from some foods and supplements.
- Found to exert several mechanisms that can potentially lower blood pressure. It helps in the production of a hormone called renin, which regulates blood pressure. Additionally, it promotes the synthesis of a peptide called angiotensin, which helps maintain blood pressure levels.
- Supplementation may be beneficial for individuals with low levels of Vitamin D3. But it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplementation.
- It is not a standalone treatment for high blood pressure. A good strategy for controlling blood pressure is necessary. It should include a healthy diet, regular exercise, stress management, and medication if a doctor prescribes it.
Vitamin D3 may be able to lower blood pressure, but it may work differently for different people. Maintaining optimal Vitamin D3 levels through diet, supplementation, or sunlight exposure can improve cardiovascular health.
Can Vitamin C Lower Blood Pressure?
Yes, vitamin C may potentially help lower blood pressure. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) may lower blood pressure, according to research, and as established earlier. However, in clinical trials, the results of its blood pressure lowering effect were inconsistent.
Here are some additional facts you need to be aware of:
Vitamin C is well-known for its antioxidant properties, which aid in preventing cell damage from harmful molecules called free radicals. It is also involved in the production of nitric oxide, a compound that helps relax and widen blood vessels, thereby promoting healthy blood flow.
- Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, and grapefruits)
- Berries (strawberries, blueberries)
- Bell peppers
- Leafy greens (spinach, kale)
These foods contain Vitamin C and other essential nutrients.
If you struggle to meet your daily Vitamin C requirements through diet alone, you may consider taking Vitamin C supplements. But it is best to talk to a doctor before starting any supplement to figure out the right amount for your needs.
Is Vitamin B12 Safe for High Blood Pressure?
Vitamin B12 is generally safe for individuals with high blood pressure.
This vitamin is very important for maintaining overall health. It also helps the nervous system work well and makes red blood cells. However, there is no direct evidence to suggest that Vitamin B12 has a significant impact on blood pressure levels. Nonetheless, its benefits for cardiovascular health cannot be overlooked.
A study found that people with a vitamin B12 deficiency have higher blood pressure compared to those whose blood pressure is within normal limits. Even though this does not prove a cause-and-effect relationship, it shows how important it is to have adequate vitamin B12 levels in the body.
Sources of vitamin B12
- Dairy products
People who are vegetarian or have a restrictive vegan diet should make sure they get enough Vitamin B12 by eating fortified foods or taking supplements.
What Natural Products Lower Blood Pressure?
Can Garlic Lower Blood Pressure?
The short answer is yes.
Garlic has shown potential blood pressure lowering effects, according to different studies. In another clinical trial, it showed a significant reduction in the mean systolic blood pressure with oral supplementation after 12 weeks.
However, despite the long history of garlic use, its efficacy in lowering blood pressure remains disputed and debated. Nonetheless, it is a safe adjunct to current medical management of hypertension.
Does Magnesium Reduce Blood Pressure?
Several studies support the claim that magnesium reduces blood pressure. However, a study states that this blood pressure lowering effect still remains controversial.
Nonetheless, it cannot be overlooked that magnesium supplementation has a causal effect on lowering blood pressure. Therefore, it could be used as a non-pharmacologic approach to the treatment of hypertension.
- Green, leafy vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Whole grains
But it is important to remember that many people may not get enough magnesium from their diet alone. This is especially true if they have certain health problems or take certain medications that can lower magnesium levels.
In such cases, magnesium supplements can be a helpful option. If you take the route of supplementation, it is of the utmost importance to talk to your doctor since there is also a risk of toxicity.
Does Beetroot Lower Blood Pressure?
Yes, beetroot can lower blood pressure.
Mechanism of action
According to a study, beetroot juice has a high proportion of inorganic nitrates. When metabolized, the original nitrate becomes a bioactive nitrite, which exerts its effect in the body as nitric oxide. We established earlier that nitric oxide can produce vasodilatation (opening of blood vessels). The dilation of blood vessels allows for improved blood flow and thus lowers the pressure exerted on the walls.
Significance of findings
In a clinical trial of 30 subjects, it was found that drinking beetroot juice significantly decreased blood pressure. As such, the results of the study show that it may be beneficial for people with hypertension.
Nonetheless, it’s important to note that the effects may vary from person to person. More research is required to fully understand the long-term benefits of beetroot on blood pressure.
Again, you should always keep in mind that beetroot and other supplements, for that matter, are not standalone treatments or sole medications for hypertension. It is in your best interest to consult your doctor before making any significant changes to your medications or diet.
Does Turmeric Lower Blood Pressure?
Turmeric has been studied as an adjunct blood pressure-lowering agent. One study has found that consuming turmeric may improve systolic blood pressure when administered for a long period of time. In this study, the administration was more than or equal to 12 weeks.
Active compound curcumin
A study found that the active component of turmeric is curcumin. It studied the health effects of curcumin, including its potential to help with cardiovascular diseases (which include hypertension). It also has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and even anti-cancer properties.
Turmeric shows promise for potentially lowering blood pressure. But further research is needed to fully understand its mechanisms and establish optimal usage guidelines.
What Are Additional Herbs That Lower Blood Pressure?
If you are looking for natural ways to control your blood pressure, adding certain herbs to your diet can be a good idea. Here are 10 herbs that are known to help lower blood pressure:
- Buchu: Indigenous people in South Africa use the herb buchu to treat a variety of medical conditions.
- Cinnamon (also shows decrease in blood sugar levels in studies)
- Hibiscus (roselle)
These herbs show promise in helping to lower blood pressure according to different studies. However, caution must be exercised before incorporating them to your current regimen. Always talk to your health care provider regarding these adjuncts to treatment.
What Supplements to Avoid if You Have High Blood Pressure
Not all supplements are created equal. It goes without saying that not all supplements that claim to lower blood pressure can indeed result in one. There are also supplements that you need to avoid if you have hypertension.
According to research, the following supplements have evidence of harmful effects:
- Ephedra: Research showed that this supplement can increase heart rate and blood pressure.
- Licorice: Results of a study suggests that consumption thereof can significantly increase both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
- Bitter orange: A significant increase in heart rate as well as systolic and diastolic blood pressure with just one dose of this supplement, according to research.
It is in your best interest to ask your primary care provider if you have any questions regarding supplements. This is especially true if you are currently taking maintenance medications for hypertension.
In conclusion, people, who want to control their blood pressure well, need to know about supplements for high blood pressure. By adding these supplements to a healthy lifestyle, people may be able to lower their blood pressure and lower their risk of health problems related to high blood pressure. But it is important to be careful when taking supplements and to talk to a medical professional before starting a new routine.
Here are some key takeaways to keep in mind:
- Supplements for high blood pressure can be a helpful addition to a full treatment plan. They are made to give you essential nutrients that help keep your heart healthy and keep your blood pressure in check.
- It is important to remember that supplements should not be used in place of medications prescribed by a doctor or changes to your lifestyle that a doctor recommends.
- Garlic extract, coenzyme Q10, and magnesium are all popular supplements for high blood pressure. There is some evidence that these supplements can help lower blood pressure, but how well they work for each person may vary.
- It is very important to stick to the recommended dose and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Taking excessive amounts of supplements can be harmful and may lead to adverse effects.
- Supplements for high blood pressure can be helpful, but they should always be used along with other changes to your lifestyle. It includes eating healthy, getting regular exercise, dealing with stress, and not smoking or drinking too much alcohol.
High blood pressure supplements can be a valuable addition to a comprehensive approach to managing blood pressure. However, it is important to exercise caution, consult with a healthcare professional, and be mindful of the potential risks and benefits associated with these supplements.
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