Blood Pressure Supplements: Do They Work?
Learn more about blood pressure supplements and see if they’re worth a try.
Certain supplements and nutrients may help promote healthy blood pressure. Shutterstock Images
High blood pressure is a common medical condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Widely regarded as a silent killer, it almost always has no symptoms and is often left undetected for many years. It poses a risk to one’s overall health and well-being, as it increases risk for heart attack and stroke. Because of this, many are interested in using blood pressure supplements to help lower their blood pressure or to be used as an adjunct in their blood pressure medications.
What are Blood Pressure Supplements?
Blood pressure supplements are dietary supplements that helps regulate blood pressure. They can be used alone or in combination with prescription blood pressure medications, preferably upon the advice of a physician.
Why Should You Take Blood Pressure Supplements?
People take blood pressure supplements to reduce their blood pressure if it’s high or maintain it if it’s already within normal limits. They also use it to promote or support overall cardiovascular health. Some physicians advise using these supplements in combination with prescription blood pressure medications for added effect.
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Latest Blood Pressure Supplements
Blood Pressure Supplements - The Key Ingredients To Look For
The following have been proven to effectively lower blood pressure:
Coenzyme Q10 - An antioxidant that aids in energy production of the cells. According to a meta-analysis, it can also help lower blood pressure by up to 17mmHg systolic and 10mmHg diastolic.
Fiber - Increasing fiber intake has been shown to lower blood pressure or prevent high blood pressure if you aren’t hypertensive yet.
Folic Acid - This nutrient is particularly helpful for pregnant women, as they not only lower pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, but also promote normal brain development of the unborn baby. High doses, meanwhile, help reduce blood pressure in both men and women according to a 2009 study. Folic acid is incorporated in most multivitamins, but it is also available as a standalone supplement.
Garlic - Has been used since the early times in treating cardiovascular problems. According to studies, this plant both in raw and supplement forms can significantly lower blood pressure regulating nitric oxide which, in turn, causes muscle cell relaxation and vasodilation. Its other benefits include reducing serum cholesterol levels and enhancing immunity.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids - A promising ingredient for blood pressure supplements due to their ability to enhance vascular tone.
Potassium - Its main role is to counteract the effects of sodium and regulate muscle function, and that includes relaxing the muscle on the blood vessel walls. This relaxation lowers blood pressure and protect against cramping. Potassium is also important in maintaining the proper conduction of electrical signals in the heart (source), thus preventing an irregular heartbeat.
Magnesium - It regulates hundreds of body processes including energy production, muscle function, and bone development. Just like potassium, it helps blood vessels relax (source).
Calcium - A necessary nutrient for blood pressure regulation due to its ability to make blood vessels relax or tighten when they have to (source).
Do Blood Pressure Supplements Work?
Blood pressure supplements that contain the right ingredients are proven to be generally effective. However, they must be used with caution to avoid any unwanted reactions. For instance, too little or too much potassium can lead to arrhythmia or irregular heart rhythms.
NOTE: Always remember to never take a supplement on your own. Consult your physician first if you are planning to use one, especially if you are taking medications for other medical problems.
How to Choose the Best Blood Pressure Supplements?
Just like any other dietary supplements, blood pressure supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA. As such, there is no guarantee that they will be as safe and effective as their manufacturers would like us to believe.
To find the best blood pressure supplements for you, talk to your physician about which ones might help the most according to your needs. It is also important to purchase your supplements from a manufacturer or company that you trust.
The Bottom Line
Blood pressure supplements seem like a good way to deal with high blood pressure. But if you’re already taking a blood pressure medication, it is best to speak with your physician prior to using supplements to avoid any adverse interactions and toxicity.
Also remember that blood pressure supplements have only been proven to cause a modest reduction of blood pressure. They could be of good help if you want to maintain normal blood pressure but if you have extremely high blood pressure already, these supplements might not be enough on their own. Furthermore (and as always), the key to normal blood pressure and cardiovascular health is a healthy lifestyle. Eating a well-balanced diet and getting more physically active will always be the keys in blood pressure control.
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