By Michael A. Smith, MDHigh blood pressure is a silent epidemic that threatens the lives of one in every three American adults. That’s not exactly encouraging.
For those who take blood pressure medications, actual control rates vary between less than half to only two-thirds. And the effects are even worse in the elderly.1,2
This means that the majority of those diagnosed with hypertension spend most of their day with blood pressure levels that are dangerously elevated. Since increased blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, and kidney disease, it acts as an accomplice in millions of additional deaths each year.3
Nutrients Shown to Lower Blood PressureHere’s an overview of the nutrients that can help you naturally manage your blood pressure. We’ve also included related clinical evidence for each nutrient along with basic dosing suggestions.
Are there other nutrients that might be beneficial in helping you manage blood pressure? Sure there are. However, since we’re an evidenced-based company and we always stay true to that, we only listed the nutrients that have human clinical research behind them.
|Nutrient||Clinical Evidence||Extract Dosing|
|Pomegranate||Inhibits the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) which causes blood vessel constriction. |
Reduced ACE activity by 36% and decreased systolic pressure (the top number) by 5%.4
|Grape seed extract||Dilates blood vessels by increasing nitric oxide production.5 |
Reduced systolic pressure and diastolic pressure compared to placebo an average of 12 points and 7 points in 4 weeks.6
|150 to 300 mg/day|
|Arginine||Dilates blood vessels by producing nitric oxide. |
By diet or supplementation, arginine reduces systolic pressure by 6 points and reduces diastolic pressure between 5–7 points.7
|1 to 2 grams/day|
|Magnesium||Acts like a natural calcium channel blocker and cofactor for the vasodilator prostaglandin E1.8 |
Significant decreases in both systolic (average 5.6 points) and diastolic blood pressure (average 2.8 points).9
|250 to 500 mg/day|
|Potassium||Reduces blood volume and blood pressure by increasing the excretion of sodium by the kidneys.10 |
Decreases systolic pressure (top number) between 2.4–5.9 mmHg and diastolic (bottom number) 1.6–3.4 mmHg within 2–8 weeks.11
|Hawthorn||Dilates blood vessels by inhibiting the renin system and has mild diuretic activity (diuretics decrease blood volume and blood pressure).12,13 |
Hawthorn demonstrated a significant decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in 92 patients.14
Other Nutrients with Clinical ProofA quick listing of additional nutrients to consider:
- Milk Peptides
- Garlic Extract
- Olive Leaf
- Soy Isoflavones
Diets that Help Manage Blood PressureRemember, supplements are intended to “supplement” a healthy diet. So when attempting to lower your blood pressure with our suggested nutrients, you should also consider following one of the diets below for the best results.
1. DASH Diet
DASH stands for the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension. It’s very simple and can lower systolic blood pressure by 11 points.15,16 Here are the basic components of the diet:
- Less than 2.4 grams of sodium a day.
- Increased potassium-rich foods.
- Increase magnesium-rich foods.
- Increase calcium-rich foods.
- Greater than 15 grams of fiber a day.
- No more than 2 alcoholic drinks a day for men and 1 a day for women.
Caloric restriction is the chronic reduction of dietary calories, typically by 30%, but without malnutrition. Restriction in energy intake slows down the body’s growth processes, causing a focus on protective repair mechanisms. The overall effect is an improvement in several measures of health.
Keep a Blood Pressure DiaryHere’s a suggestion for monitoring your own progress: Run your own one-person clinical trial. Start off by keeping a blood pressure diary to pinpoint your average blood pressure reading. Then, choose a nutrient from above and continue to document your results. This is a great way to tell what is actually working and making a difference.
Please let us know how it works out for you!
Want to read even more about this topic? Check out our magazine article on reducing high blood pressure naturally.
- Clin Geriatr Med. 2009 May;25(2):179-89.
- JAMA. 2005 Jul 27;294(4):466-72.
- Circulation. 2011 Feb 1;123(4):e18-e209. Epub 2010 Dec 15.
- Atherosclerosis. 2001 Sep;158(1):195-8.
- Nitric Oxide. 2009 Sep;21(2):77-91.
- Metabolism. 2009 Dec;58(12):1743-6.
- Am J Hypertens. 2000 May;13(5 Pt 1):547-51.
- J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2008 Jul;10(7 Suppl 2):3-11.
- J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2011;13:843-847.
- Kidney Int. 1993 May;43(5):1097-103.
- J Hum Hypertens. 2003 Jul;17(7):471-80.
- Br Med J. 1939 Nov 11;2(4114):951-3.
- Eur J Heart Fail. 2008 Dec;10(12):1153-7.
- Drugs Exp Clin Res. 2004;30(5-6):221-5.
- Arch Intern Med. 2008 Feb 11;168(3):308-14.
- Arch Intern Med. 2010 Jan 25;170(2):126-35.
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