Nearly half (47%) of adults in the United States have high blood pressure, or hypertension. (2) Furthermore, an estimated 1.28 billion adults between the ages of 30 and 79 worldwide have hypertension. (1) While these numbers are alarming, hypertension is reversible with the correct treatment.
What is Considered High Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure readings consist of systolic and diastolic measurements. The top or higher number indicates systolic blood pressure, the pressure created when the heart beats. The bottom or lower number indicates diastolic blood pressure, or the pressure measurement when the heart rests.
Below are classifications of blood pressure readings:
- Normal: Less than 120/80 mmHg
- Elevated: Systolic pressure between 120-129 mmHg and diastolic pressure less than 80 mmHg
- Stage 1 hypertension: Systolic pressure between 130-139 mmHg or diastolic pressure between 80-89 mmHg
- Stage 2 hypertension: Systolic pressure of 140 mmHg or higher or diastolic pressure of 90 mmHg or higher
- Hypertensive crisis: Systolic pressure over 180 mmHg or a diastolic pressure over 120 mmHg
Many people are successful at reducing their blood pressure through lifestyle changes. By exercising regularly, following a healthy diet, minimizing alcohol and caffeine intake, giving up smoking, and managing stress, you can significantly decrease your blood pressure over time. In addition, research shows that certain supplements can help reduce high blood pressure.
This article will review which supplements are best for regulating blood pressure and the research behind these recommendations.
Potassium is essential for managing high blood pressure because it helps your body eliminate sodium. It also relaxes and reduces tension on the walls of your blood vessels.
According to a meta-analysis, augmenting potassium intake by 42 mmol/day resulted in a notable 21% reduction in stroke, coronary heart disease, and cardiovascular disease. (3)
Some diets, such as the DASH diet, incorporate foods that are rich in potassium to reduce blood pressure while losing weight. If you're looking for a holistic approach to losing weight and lowering your blood pressure, you may want to consider learning about the DASH diet.
Beetroot is full of nitrates, which are converted to nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide is a molecule that can dilate blood vessels and improve blood flow, thereby reducing blood pressure.
A meta-analysis of 16 research trials found that one 8-ounce glass of beetroot juice daily can lower blood pressure levels in people with hypertension. (4) Healthycell's Heart & Vascular Health contains 500 mg of beet (beta vulgaris) root powder.
Vitamin K2 helps regulate calcium in the body, which is vital for maintaining healthy bones and preventing calcification in the arteries. Some research suggests that Vitamin K2 can help lower blood pressure by improving arterial elasticity and reducing arterial stiffness.
One study showed that increased vitamin K2 intake may reduce arterial stiffness, slow the progression of vascular and valvular calcification, and lower blood pressure. (5)
Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient essential for optimal health. Studies have shown that vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, may lower blood pressure in individuals with hypertension.
One study found that daily, eight-week vitamin C supplementation significantly improved endothelial function in people with hypertension. (6) Another study found that daily supplementation with vitamin C of 500 mg a day for eight weeks significantly decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure in adults with high blood pressure. (7)
While research suggests that vitamin C may be a helpful supplement for managing hypertension, more research is needed to understand the mechanisms behind this relationship. If you're looking for a supplement with high levels of vitamin C, you should consider Healthycell's Immune Super Boost, which contains 500 mg of vitamin C.
Vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin, is essential for maintaining bone health, immune function, and cell growth and division. Research shows that vitamin D may play a role in reducing blood pressure levels.
One study found that for each 10 ng/mL increase in vitamin D, participants had a 12% decreased risk of developing hypertension. The same study showed that people with high vitamin D levels had a 30% reduced risk of developing hypertension, or high blood pressure, compared to those with low levels of vitamin D. (8)
If your blood pressure is elevated, consider getting your vitamin D levels checked. You can easily raise your vitamin D levels through supplementation. I recommend taking a supplement that offers maximum absorption, like Healthycell's Bioactive Multi or Vegan Essentials multivitamins. Each contains 40 mcg, or 200% of the recommended daily value, of vitamin D3.
Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, is a naturally occurring compound in the human body, but it's also found in some foods we eat. CoQ10 functions as an antioxidant that shields cells from harm caused by free radicals. It also plays an important role in cellular metabolism.
Studies suggest that CoQ10 may have a beneficial effect on blood pressure. One study published in the Journal of Human Hypertension found that CoQ10 supplementation was associated with considerable reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with hypertension. (9)
Healthycell's Heart & Vascular Health contains 100 mg of CoQ10, plus other heart health nutrients, in one daily dose.
L-arginine is an amino acid involved in protein production. L-arginine is produced in the body, but it's also found in some supplements and foods, such as fish, whole grains, poultry, and beans. Along with producing protein, L-arginine plays a vital role in the synthesis of nitric oxide, which aids in the relaxation and dilation of blood vessels, resulting in decreased blood pressure.
Several studies have investigated the potential of L-arginine supplementation in reducing blood pressure levels. A meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled trials showed that L-arginine supplementation significantly reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels in individuals with high blood pressure. (10)
Evidence suggests that B vitamins can also play a critical role in reducing blood pressure. Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) has been shown to reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure in adults with methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene mutations. (11) Folate, also known as vitamin B9, may also lower blood pressure in people with cardiovascular disease. (12) In addition, vitamin B6 supplementation may help lower blood pressure levels in people with prehypertension and hypertension.
Healthycell's Heart & Vascular Health contains all of these B vitamins, plus other heart-health nutrients, in one daily dose.
Magnesium is a mineral that helps facilitate many physiological processes in the body, including the regulation of blood pressure. This essential mineral is believed to help lower blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels, reducing inflammation, and improving vascular function.
Multiple studies have examined the impacts of taking magnesium supplements on blood pressure levels. A meta-analysis of 34 clinical trials found that magnesium can effectively lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure in people with average and high blood pressure levels. (13) Another study found that increasing magnesium intake through diet can lower the risk of hypertension. (14)
Garlic contains various compounds that play a role in lowering blood pressure, including allicin which has been shown to relax and widen the blood vessels, and other sulfur-containing compounds that may promote the relaxation of blood vessels.
One meta-analysis of randomized trials revealed that garlic supplementation led to a decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, with an average decrease of about 4-5 mmHg. (15)
Garlic is available in various forms, ranging from whole cloves, smooth pastes, and powders to supplements such as garlic extract and oil. It is a versatile ingredient that enhances the flavor of most savory dishes, especially soups and sauces. Look at Garlic: The Quick and Easy Garlic Cookbook with 520 Garlic Recipes.
Studies have indicated that fish oil supplements may also help reduce blood pressure in certain individuals. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil, mainly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), have been shown to help regulate blood pressure. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, improve vascular function, and decrease the constriction of blood vessels, all of which can contribute to lower blood pressure.
An analysis of numerous studies published in the Journal of the American Heart Association indicated that consuming approximately 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per day, either through food or supplements, is optimal for reducing blood pressure.
For more information on omega-3 fatty acids, look at Vegan Omega 3 Supplements & Sources: What Vegans Need to Know.
Tea (Green & Hibiscus)
Both green and hibiscus teas appear to have vasodilatory effects, which can help lower blood pressure. Green tea catechins have been shown to enhance endothelial function and reduce inflammation, whereas hibiscus tea contains anthocyanins and polyphenols that exhibit anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
One study in the British Journal of Nutrition demonstrated that consuming green tea extract for 12 weeks significantly decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure in individuals with high to normal blood pressure, or stage 1 hypertension. Participants consumed 379 mg of green tea extract daily, equivalent to 3 to 4 cups of brewed green tea. (16)
Another study published in the Journal of Human Hypertension found that drinking two cups of hibiscus tea daily for four weeks lowered systolic blood pressure by an average of 8.1 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 4.1 mmHg in adults with prehypertension or mild hypertension. (17)
Studies show that ginger can help reduce blood pressure by dilating blood vessels and enhancing circulation. Additionally, ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, which is beneficial for cardiovascular health.
One study showed that individuals with hypertension experienced a considerable decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure after taking 2 grams of ginger powder a day for 12 weeks. (18)
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria, or microorganisms. You may have heard that probiotics are good for your digestive system, or gut. You can find probiotics in various foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, and kimchi, as well as in dietary supplements.
Some evidence suggests that probiotics can help lower blood pressure. One study published in the Hypertension Journal found that consuming probiotics for eight weeks resulted in reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure in adults with hypertension. (19)
The mechanisms by which probiotics may help lower blood pressure have yet to be fully understood. Still, they may improve endothelial function and reduce inflammation, both of which can contribute to hypertension.
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone produced in the brain that regulates the human sleep-wake cycle and has been studied for its potential impact on blood pressure.
While research regarding the potential effects of melatonin on blood pressure is still limited, some studies suggest that melatonin may help lower blood pressure by improving endothelial function and reducing inflammation in the body. For example, one study found that 2 mg of melatonin treatment for four weeks reduced systolic blood pressure in participants with high blood pressure. (20)
For more information on melatonin, look at How to Use a Melatonin Supplement for Better Sleep.
Healthycell's Heart & Vascular Health dietary supplement contains a blend of plant extracts, vitamins, and minerals that help maintain normal blood pressure levels and promote healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels for a healthy heart and vascular system.
This dietary supplement contains many of the supplements discussed in this article. One single dose contains 100 mg of potassium, 500 mg of beetroot powder, 100 mcg of vitamin K2, 100 mg of coenzyme Q10, 400 mcg DFE of folate, 4.5 mg of vitamin B6, 100 mg of magnesium, 500 mg of ahiflower seed oil (45% omega-3), plus other heart-healthy nutrients.
For additional information on how to improve heart health naturally, look at 9 Ways to Improve Heart and Cardiovascular Health Naturally with Lifestyle Changes or How to Improve Heart and Vascular Health.
The American Heart Association recommends consulting with your doctor before taking any supplement or over-the-counter drug, especially if you are taking any prescription medications.
Try purchasing supplements from a company that uses third-party testing for purity, such as Healthycell.
About the Author
Dr. Giampapa is a world-renowned medical doctor, inventor, and surgeon specializing in anti-aging medicine. He recently received a nomination for the Nobel Prize for his groundbreaking stem cell research, as well as the Edison Award for the Healthycell nutritional supplement for cell health. He was also awarded the A4M Science & Technology award for his development of the BioMarker Matrix Profile – the first computer program to measure aging.