High blood pressure is a precursor to other problems including heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. So, if your numbers are high, it’s important to bring them down to prevent future problems. If you have hypertension, there’s a chance you’ll need medications to keep your blood pressure under control, but some people are able to do control their blood pressure naturally by modifying their diet and lifestyle. Are there vitamins and supplements that can help? Here are five supplements to discuss with your doctor.
Naturally Lower Blood Pressure with Fish Oils
Fish oils contain omega-3 fatty acids, good fats found in some fish. Studies show that supplementing with the omega-3s in fish oil modestly lowers both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. You can get the same benefits by eating fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, but some fish are high in mercury, which is why a supplement may be safer. Look for a fish oil supplement that’s been purified by molecular distillation to remove heavy metals and impurities. This will reduce your risk of toxin exposure. People who are on blood thinners or have a history of a bleeding disorder shouldn’t take fish oils.
Lower Blood Pressure with Potassium
Research shows that people who get more potassium in their diets have lower blood pressures, but it’s best to get it naturally by eating potassium-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables. Boosting your potassium intake to 4,000 milligrams daily can significantly lower your systolic and diastolic blood pressure. You can do this by eating eight or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Sound difficult? Start your day off by adding fruit to your cereal, and eat a banana before you head out the door. Choose veggies as side-dishes instead of starches, and begin each meal with a salad. Then watch your blood pressure come down. Don’t forget to hold the salt shaker.
Vitamin C for a Healthier Blood Pressure
Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin important for healthy skin and a good immune system. Research also shows that taking 500 milligrams of vitamin C a day can lower systolic blood pressure. Unfortunately, some people who supplement with vitamin C get diarrhea and stomach upset, and it can increase the risk of kidney stones, so talk to your doctor before taking it. You can always get your vitamin C naturally by eating citrus fruits and sipping orange juice. Orange juice is also a good source of potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure.
Coenzyme Q10 Supplements to Naturally Lower Blood Pressure
Coenzyme Q10 is important for producing the energy cells need to function. Some studies show that supplementing with 60 milligrams of coenzyme Q10, available at most health food stores, lowers systolic blood pressure, by up to 17 mm. Hg, although it may take several weeks to see results. Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant, so it may have other health benefits as well.
The Magic of Garlic
Several studies show that taking a garlic supplement helps to lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure. It also has other heart-healthy benefits by reducing the risk of blood clots that can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Always take garlic supplements under the supervision of a doctor since they can interact with other medications, especially blood thinners and aspirin.
The Bottom Line?
These natural supplements may not replace your need for blood pressure medications, but if your blood pressure is only mildly elevated, they could bring it down to a healthier level. Talk to your doctor about whether these natural blood pressure remedies are right for you.
Circulation. 1993 Aug;88(2):523-33.
Medscape.com. “The Natural Treatment of Hypertension”