The ONE organ responsible for high blood pressure.
Supplements to Take for High Blood Pressure
Foods high in vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, selenium or L-arginine are good options if you're looking to lower your blood pressure. Antioxidants protect your cells from damage and can reduce inflammation, which, in turn, can keep blood pressure in control.
According to scientists from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, high doses of vitamin C — an average of 500 mg per day — may produce small reductions of blood pressure. Vitamin C may act as a diuretic, removing excess fluid from your body. This may help lower the pressure within your blood vessels.
Here are 14 supplements that may help lower your blood pressure.
1. MagnesiumMagnesium is a mineral that’s critical for many bodily functions, including blood pressure regulation. Studies show that magnesium supplements may help reduce blood pressure by increasing the production of nitric oxide — a signaling molecule that helps relax blood vessels. A review of 11 randomized studies found that magnesium, taken at 365–450 mg per day over an average of 3.6 months, significantly reduced blood pressure in people with chronic medical conditions. Another review of 10 studies in over 200,000 people suggested that greater dietary intake of magnesium may protect against high blood pressure in the first place. Every 100-mg daily increase in dietary magnesium was linked to a 5% reduction in high blood pressure risk.
2. Vitamin DResearch shows that people with high blood pressure tend to have lower levels of vitamin D than those without this condition. Studies also demonstrate that higher blood levels of vitamin D may help protect against high blood pressure. A review of data in over 300,00 people found that those with the highest vitamin D levels had up to a 30% reduced risk of high blood pressure, compared with those with the lowest levels. Thus, people with high blood pressure should get their vitamin D levels checked and supplement accordingly.
3. B vitaminsSeveral B vitamins may help reduce blood pressure levels. For example, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) supplements have been shown to help reduce blood pressure in adults with methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene mutations, which make high blood pressure more likely. Folic acid and folate supplements — vitamin B9 — may also lower blood pressure in people with heart disease. Additionally, higher folate intake in young adulthood may protect against this condition later in life. While animal studies suggest that vitamin B6 supplements likewise reduce high blood pressure, human research is lacking.
4. PotassiumPotassium may be the best known nutritional supplement for blood pressure regulation. Studies suggest that increasing your intake through food or supplements helps reduce high blood pressure levels. Potassium works by promoting sodium excretion through the urine and helping blood vessels relax. In a review of 23 studies, potassium supplements led to a modest but significant drop in blood pressure, compared with a placebo. Other reviews note that these supplements are safe and effective, though they appear most effective in people with high blood pressure who follow high sodium diets.
5. CoQ10Coenzyme Q10 — commonly called CoQ10 — is a vitamin-like molecule that’s made by your body and found in certain foods. When taken as a supplement, it may help reduce blood pressure. A review of 17 studies found that CoQ10 supplements significantly reduced systolic blood pressure, which is the top number on a reading. However, results from other studies are mixed. Thus, more research is needed.
6. L-arginineL-arginine is an amino acid that may lower blood pressure levels when taken as a supplement. An umbrella review of 7 meta-analyses in 4,676 people demonstrated 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 found that L-arginine supplements significantly improved blood vessel function and blood flow.
7. Vitamin CVitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient that your body needs for many important processes. Although study results are mixed, recent research suggests that vitamin C supplements may help lower blood pressure. In a review of 8 studies in people with high blood pressure, taking 300–1,000 mg per day of vitamin C significantly reduced their levels. Research also suggests that people with low blood levels of this vitamin have a higher risk of high blood pressure than those with optimal vitamin C levels.
8. BeetrootAthletes often take beetroot supplements to bolster exercise performance because this root vegetable improves blood flow and oxygen delivery to your muscles. Interestingly, beetroot supplements have been shown to reduce blood pressure in people with and without high blood pressure. For example, a review of 11 studies revealed that beetroot juice lowered blood pressure levels in people with and without this condition.
9. GarlicGarlic is linked to a variety of benefits, including reduced blood pressure and heart disease risk. Adding a garlic supplement to your routine may help lower your blood pressure naturally. In fact, in a review of 12 studies, garlic supplements reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 8.3 mmHg and 5.5 mmHg, respectively. The researchers estimated that this reduction may help decrease your risk of stroke, heart attack, and coronary artery disease by up to 40% (32).
10. Fish oilFish oil may improve heart health by reducing blood lipid levels, inflammation, and high blood pressure. Studies show that those with high blood pressure may benefit from high-dose fish oil supplements. In one review, taking the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA, including fish oil supplements, led to significant 4.51 and 3.05 mmHg reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, respectively, in people with high blood pressure who weren’t on medications. What’s more, research notes higher blood levels of omega-3s may protect against high blood pressure.
11. ProbioticsProbiotics are beneficial bacteria naturally found in your gut. Supplements containing these bacteria are linked to numerous health benefits, including lower blood pressure. In a review of nine studies, probiotic supplements significantly reduced blood pressure levels, compared with control groups. However, the researchers noted that treatment was more effective when multiple strains of probiotics were taken, the supplements were taken for 8 weeks or longer, and the daily dose was greater than 10 billion colony-forming units (CFUs). Notably, another review found that probiotic supplements significantly reduced blood pressure in people with high levels, compared with control groups.
12. MelatoninMelatonin is a hormone made by your body that you can also take as a supplement. Although these supplements are popularly used to promote sleep, they’re associated with other health benefits as well. For example, studies show that melatonin supplements may reduce blood pressure in people with high levels. A review of 5 studies linked melatonin supplements to significant reductions in blood pressure levels, compared with control groups. Another study suggested that low melatonin production may be a risk factor for high blood pressure in women.
13. Green teaGreen tea is associated with a variety of impressive health benefits, including healthy blood pressure levels. A review of 24 studies showed that taking green tea supplements or drinking green tea for 3–16 weeks significantly reduced blood pressure in people with and without high levels. Although these results are promising, larger, long-term studies are necessary.
14. GingerResearch suggests that high-dose ginger supplements may help lower high blood pressure. A review of 6 studies found that, when taken in doses of 3 grams or more per day for 8 weeks or fewer, ginger supplements significantly reduced blood pressure in people 50 years old and younger In a 12-week study in 37 people with metabolic syndrome — a group of conditions that raise heart disease risk — taking 2 grams of ginger powder per day significantly lowered levels of blood pressure, triglycerides, and fasting blood sugar, compared with a placebo.
While several supplements may lower blood pressure levels, it doesn’t mean that every supplement is safe. It’s important to know that many supplements may interact with common drugs, including blood pressure medication. What’s more, while taking too little of a supplement may be ineffective for reducing blood pressure, taking too much may result in serious side effects. Thus, you should always consult your healthcare provider before adding any supplement to your routine. Your healthcare provider can help you determine a safe and effective dose based on your needs. Additionally, it’s important to choose a high quality brand. When possible, purchase supplements that have undergone third-party testing for purity by organizations like United States Pharmacopeia (USP) or NSF International.