So your doctor has diagnosed you with hypertension, or high blood pressure. Now what? While you may have discussed some prescription medications, maybe you want more control over your health. In addition to upping your daily exercise program there are other alternative ways to lower your blood pressure safely and effectively. Here we will look at some of the most beneficial supplements to naturally lower your blood pressure.
Coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10, is a very important nutrient that supports the cardiovascular system. It plays a number of roles in the body including the promotion of cellular energy and serving as an antioxidant. In more recent years, scientists have found that by including CoQ10 as part of your supplementation you see a reduction in blood pressure numbers. In an important study, three curious researchers administered CoQ10 to 46 men and 37 women who had been previously diagnosed with systolic hypertension. Each participant was given 60 mg of the supplement (with a control group receiving a placebo pill twice daily). In just 12 weeks the researchers observed a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure of a whopping 17.8 mm Hg in the group taking CoQ10.
Potassium is a mineral that works to balance the sodium level in our bodies, which helps to stabilize blood pressure. In people who experience low levels of potassium for a myriad of reasons, including certain medications or medical conditions, this can lead to a spike in blood pressure. By including a daily supplement of potassium you can help keep your blood pressure in the normal range. Medical professionals point out that around 5,000 mg of potassium daily is a safe and healthy range to naturally control blood pressure.
Vitamin E Paired with Iron
A fairly new supplement pairing that is cropping up to help battle hypertension is the combination of vitamin E and the mineral iron. While on their own the impact on blood pressure would be minimal, when paired they can naturally lower BP. Iron has the ability to increase our bloods effectiveness of carrying oxygen. Vitamin E works to support the muscles of our hearts and help them work more efficiently. When these two systems combine, the level of effort required from the heart is minimized.
Omega-3 Fatty Acid
The importance of omega-3 fatty acids is something most of us have become well acquainted with in recent years. We know a well-balanced omega-3 to omega-6 ratio can help with everything from brain health to weight loss. Several research studies have shown that sufficient levels of omega-3s can also reduce blood pressure naturally. Historically we had more access to foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. As our diets move more towards omega-6s found in processed and fried foods our balance is out of whack. This may paint part of the picture as to why Americans’ blood pressure is on the rise. Including omega-3 fatty acids as part of your daily supplementation can help keep your blood pressure where you want it.
There are a number of important minerals that are showing promise in controlling blood pressure. Calcium, magnesium and potassium are moving to the front of the pack as effective blood pressure reduction supplements. Magnesium has long been attributed to controlling blood pressure spikes. A pivotal study on this subject found that out of 615 men studied in a trial, those who consumed sufficient levels of magnesium on a daily basis had significantly lower blood pressure. The Harvard Medical School recommends the following for effective blood pressure management:
- 7 grams of potassium per day for both men and women ages 51 and older
- 420 mg of magnesium per day for men ages 50 and older
- 320 mg of magnesium per day for women ages 50 and older
- 1,000 – 1,2000 mg of calcium per day for men ages 51 and older
- 1,2000 mg of calcium per day for women ages 51 and older
Grape Seed Extract
A lesser-known supplemental ingredient for ideal blood pressure is grape seed or grape seed extract. These tiny gems contain polyphenols, which are compounds that provide a number of important health benefits. One of these benefits is the ability to lower blood pressure naturally. While it is not enough on its own to battle hypertension, when included as part of a supplementation regimen it can help limit the need for medications.
Over the past ten years studies on the health benefits of folate have shown that is has the ability to fight high blood pressure. While the use of folate was long devoted to the health of pregnant mothers and unborn children, new research is expanding the list of benefits. A recent study showed that women who consume at least 1,000 micrograms of folate each day, either from their diet or supplements, had a 46 percent lower risk of developing high blood pressure.
These are just some of the homeopathic and natural ways you can begin to reduce your blood pressure without the need for potent prescription medications. When paired with exercise, supplements can be a great way to keep your blood pressure in the healthy range. It is best to work closely with your health care professional and make sure you are healthy and at your best.