Almost half of all adults in the United States have high blood pressure, putting them at risk of stroke and heart disease. While this statistic is concerning, there are some things that can be done to help lower high blood pressure and maintain heart health, for instance taking supplements.
There are many evidence-based ways that people can naturally support a healthy blood pressure, from following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet (DASH diet) to avoiding cigarette smoking.
And, given that more than 34 percent of Americans use dietary supplements, it is safe to assume that popping a pill to help with high blood pressure is a common practice. Among the sea of supplements available on drug store shelves, there are a few standouts that may help lower blood pressure. Here are 14 supplements to consider if you want to maintain a healthy blood pressure, as long as you get permission from your doctor first.
1. Vitamin D
Studies show that people with high blood pressure have lower levels of vitamin D than those who do not have this condition. Higher blood levels of vitamin D may also help protect against high blood pressure, according to research. A study of over 300,000 people found that those with the highest vitamin D levels had a 30% lower risk of high blood pressure compared to those with the lowest levels. As a result, people with high blood pressure should have their vitamin D levels checked and supplement as needed.
Potassium is possibly the most well-known dietary supplement for blood pressure control. According to research, increasing your intake through food or nutritional supplements can help lower your blood pressure.
Potassium works by increasing sodium excretion in the urine and relaxing blood vessels. In a meta-analysis of 23 studies, potassium supplements resulted in a small but significant drop in blood pressure when compared to a placebo. Other reviews state that these supplements are both safe and effective, though they seem to be most effective in people with high blood pressure who eat a high sodium diet.
L-arginine is an amino acid that, when taken as a supplement, may help to lower blood pressure. A meta-analysis of 7 studies involving 4,676 people found that L-arginine supplements significantly reduced total blood pressure in people with high levels, as well as diastolic blood pressure in pregnant women with high levels. Furthermore, the review discovered that L-arginine supplements improved blood vessel function and blood flow significantly.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that occur naturally in your gut. These bacteria-containing supplements have been linked to a variety of health benefits, including lower blood pressure and inflammations. Probiotic supplements significantly reduced blood pressure levels when compared to control groups in a meta-analysis of nine studies.
The researchers did note, however, that treatment was more effective when multiple strains of probiotics were used, the supplements were taken for at least 8 weeks, and the daily dose was greater than 10 billion colony-forming units (CFUs). Notably, another study discovered that probiotic supplements reduced blood pressure significantly in people with high levels when compared to control groups.
5. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient that your body requires for a variety of processes. Despite conflicting findings, recent research suggests that vitamin C supplements may help lower blood pressure. A review of eight studies in people with high blood pressure found that taking 300-1,000 mg of vitamin C per day significantly reduced their levels. According to research, people with low blood levels of this vitamin are more likely to have high blood pressure than those with optimal vitamin C levels.
Athletes frequently take beetroot supplements to improve exercise performance because this root vegetable improves blood flow and oxygen delivery to the muscles.
Beetroot supplements, interestingly, have been shown to lower blood pressure in both people with and without high blood pressure. A review of 11 studies, for example, discovered that beetroot juice reduced blood pressure levels in people with and without this condition.
Calcium is an important mineral that is most well-known for its role in bone health. However, according to the findings of a meta-analysis published in the Journal of Human Hypertension, this nutrient, found in foods such as milk, kale, and tofu, can also help support a healthy blood pressure when taken at a daily dose ranging from 355 to 2,000 milligrams.
L-citrulline, found in foods such as watermelon, is a non-essential amino acid that also aids in the formation of nitric oxide. (This is why foods containing l-citrulline, such as watermelon, are listed as one of the 14 Best Foods for Better Workout Results, According to Experts.) L-citrulline supplementation may lower blood pressure when taken in doses ranging from 3 to 9 grams per day.
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the body that can also be taken as a supplement. Although these supplements are commonly used to promote sleep, they are also linked to other health benefits. Melatonin supplements, for example, have been shown in studies to reduce blood pressure in people with high levels. A meta-analysis of five studies found that melatonin supplements significantly reduced blood pressure levels when compared to control groups. According to another study, low melatonin production may be a risk factor for high blood pressure in women.
10. Vitamin B9
Consider vitamin B9, also known as folic acid or folate, if you’re looking for other vitamins for high blood pressure. It has been shown in studies to help reduce hypertension. Folic acid is especially effective at lowering hypertension during pregnancy, but it has been shown to benefit both men and women with high blood pressure. The recommended daily allowance for folate is 400 micrograms per day. The RDA for pregnant or trying to become pregnant women is 400-800 micrograms per day.
11. Fish oil
Fatty acids found in fish such as salmon and trout have a variety of health benefits, one of which is that they may help manage high blood pressure. In one meta-analysis of 20 randomized controlled trials, the unique fatty acids found in fish – EPA and DHA – were found to significantly lower blood pressure in those studied.
12. Green tea
Green tea has been linked to a slew of impressive health benefits, including lower blood pressure. A meta-analysis of 24 studies found that drinking green tea or taking green tea supplements for 3-16 weeks significantly reduced blood pressure in people with and without high levels. Although these findings are encouraging, larger, longer-term studies are required.
According to research, high-dose ginger supplements may help lower high blood pressure. A review of six studies found that ginger supplements significantly reduced blood pressure in people 50 and younger when taken in doses of 3 grams or more per day for 8 weeks or less. In a 12-week study of 37 people with metabolic syndrome (a group of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease), taking 2 grams of ginger powder per day significantly reduced blood pressure, triglycerides, and fasting blood sugar levels when compared to a placebo.
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the body that can also be taken as a supplement. Although these supplements are commonly used to promote sleep, they are also linked to other health benefits.
Melatonin supplements, for example, have been shown in studies to reduce blood pressure in people with high levels. A meta-analysis of five studies found that melatonin supplements significantly reduced blood pressure levels when compared to control groups. According to another study, low melatonin production may be a risk factor for high blood pressure in women.