5 Best Blood Pressure Supplements
About 75 million American adults have high blood pressure—that’s one in every three people. High blood pressure (also called hypertension) is known as a silent killer because you can have it for years and never know it. And all that time, the condition is slowly destroying your health.
If your doctor discovers that you have high blood pressure, don’t be surprised if you leave with a prescription for a beta-blocker, ACE inhibitor, or some other antihypertensive drug. This is often conventional medicine’s first line of treatment.
Like so many diseases, the pharmaceutical industry and conventional medicine have turned hypertension into a condition that can be managed by taking pills, rather than cured through lifestyle changes. But blood pressure meds don’t solve the root causes of hypertension and have some terrible side effects (including dizziness, headaches, fatigue, sexual dysfunction, and heart arrhythmia).
Don’t get me wrong, high blood pressure cannot and should not be ignored. It has to be treated. But drugs should be the last—not first—resort.
In many cases, hypertension can be remedied with lifestyle changes and supplements that lower blood pressure naturally. In a moment I’ll tell you what I recommend. But first, let me explain what blood pressure is and why it matters so much.
Blood Pressure Basics
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against your artery walls. It is at its highest during a heartbeat. This is called systolic pressure. In between beats, when the heart is at rest, pressure falls. This is your diastolic pressure. These two numbers make up your blood pressure reading, expressed as systolic over diastolic (for example, 120/80 mmHg).
Your blood pressure normally rises and falls throughout the day. If it stays high for too long, though, the constant force on your arteries can create microscopic tears. These tears can turn into scar tissue, providing the perfect lodging place for fat, cholesterol, and other particles—collectively called plaque. Buildup of plaque narrows the arteries, which requires your heart to work extra hard to push blood through. This can ultimately result in heart disease, stroke, hardened arteries (atherosclerosis), and various other problems.
While there are some factors you can’t control, such as genetics and age, by and large hypertension is a lifestyle disease. Countless hypertensive patients of mine have been able to successfully wean themselves off of their medications and successfully use lifestyle changes and supplements to lower blood pressure naturally.
Lifestyle Changes and Supplements to Lower Blood Pressure
First and foremost, if you have high blood pressure, you must make important lifestyle changes. This includes improving your diet, drinking plenty of water every day, exercising regularly, getting good sleep every night, getting a handle on stress, and putting an end to bad habits like smoking and excessive drinking. If you’re overweight (another big risk factor), practicing these should quickly put you on a path toward better health.
Often, these lifestyle changes alone are enough to regulate blood pressure. But for those who need extra support, there are five nutrient all-stars I recommend. You can find all of these individually, or they often come in combination supplements to lower blood pressure.
Magnesium plays a vital role in regulating systolic and diastolic blood pressures, as well as sodium, potassium, and calcium levels within your cells. It also relaxes the smooth muscles in the arteries so blood can flow more easily. One review paper stated that taking between 500-1,000 mg of magnesium daily can reduce blood pressure as much as 5.6/2.8 mmHg.1
Nattokinase (derived from fermented soy beans) improves blood pressure by preventing the hardening of blood vessels and aiding in the breakdown of a clotting agent called fibrin. This inhibits abnormal thickening of blood. Some research has shown that it can lower blood pressure and clotting factors dramatically in as little as eight weeks.2
Grape seed extract is a powerful antioxidant that protects the lining of your blood vessels, known as the endothelium. This is important when it comes to vasodilation—the opening of the blood vessels that allows for smoother blood flow. Studies have found that grape seed extract can significantly reduce both systolic pressure and heart rate.3
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) protects the heart in many ways. It prevents inflammation and oxidative damage in the arteries. In addition, it has the potential to lessen systolic pressure by up to 17 mmHg and diastolic pressure by as much as 10 mmHg without major side effects.4
Vitamin D3. People who have higher levels of vitamin D3 in their blood tend to have lower blood pressure and are less likely to develop hypertension. Additionally, studies show D can lower blood pressure. In a study that compared drugs vs. D3 supplementation, those in the vitamin D group showed a more significant decrease in systolic pressure.5
Using these five supplements to lower blood pressure is a much safer way to take control of your health, without the side-effect risks of prescription drugs. If you’re currently taking a blood pressure medication, consider working with your doctor to wean yourself off of it so you can try the natural approach.
- Houston M. J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2011 Nov;13(11):843-7.
- Kim JY, et al. Hypertens Res. 2008 Aug;31(8):1583-8.
- Feringa HH, et al. J Am Diet Assoc. 2011 Aug;111(8):1173-81.
- Rosenfeldt FL, et al. J Hum Hypertens. 2007 Apr;21(4):297-306.
- Goel RK and Lal H. Indian J Clin Biochem. 2011 Jan;26(1):88-90.