Some dieticians claim that certain supplements and vitamins are highly effective at lowering high blood pressure. However, although many are able to reduce levels of hypertension, they may not lower them sufficiently to make any real change. They also only tend to work on mild to moderate cases of high blood pressure, which is 140/60 for mild hypertension and 140/180 for moderate hypertension. If you suffer from extreme levels of hypertension it is highly recommended that you consult a doctor who can measure and record your readings to decide if you require treatment.
Below are some of the foods and supplements often recommended for those looking to lower their blood pressure
Some supplements do seem to have some effect on high blood pressure; however the actual effectiveness of such dietary changes should be seen as a supplementation rather than an overall treatment, and specific, prescribed medication is still the best treatment for high blood pressure.
Some people find that using a blood pressure monitor at home to regularly take their readings allows them to see the effects of any treatment and diet changes
Do or don’t they lower high blood pressure?
Garlic has also been known help lower high blood pressure and to help with other disorders of the cardiovascular system, including atherosclerosis and high cholesterol.
A recent study carried out by the University of Adelaide, Australia, claimed that members of the study into the effects of garlic upon high blood pressure found a significant decrease in the blood pressure levels, which was as high as the decrease provided by certain medication. However, many aspects of the study were overblown and the medication the results were compared to were actually inactive placebo pills rather than more effective medication, such as ACE inhibitors or beta-blockers.
Therefore it is recommended that you stick to whatever your doctor has prescribed, rather than taking garlic as a complete treatment method.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Many studies have shown that an increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids can lower blood pressure, whether through fish oil supplements or flaxseed oil. Some physicians believe that flaxseed oil is more effective and more cost-effective in reducing hypertension than fish oil. Physicians also believe that regularly eating fatty fish like salmon and herring also helps lower high blood pressure.
Seventeen studies of fish oil and high blood pressure came to the conclusion that 3 grams of fish oil every day could lower blood pressure. However, a quantity of fish oil that high should only become part of your diet at the recommendation of your doctor.
Coenzyme Q10 is an enzyme that provides energy for the body. You couldn’t function without CoQ10 and the body manufacturers it throughout life, although this production decreases with age. Some studies show that people who are deficient in CoQ10 are more prone to high blood pressure and also find that CoQ10 supplementation could lower blood pressure. However, the effects weren’t experienced until after a month to three months of supplementation. CoQ10 lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels and its antioxidant properties help the vascular system. Some of the studies also found only a slight improvement. One such study asked 79 patients with managed chronic congestive heart failure to take 100mg of CoQ10 or a placebo. After the study was completed, only a mild improvement was found in the quality of life of those taking CoQ10 in comparison to those taking the placebo.
Studies have also shown that people with mild high blood pressure often have a mild lowering of their blood pressure when they take vitamin C supplementation. Some biologists believe this happens because vitamin C removes lead from the body, a toxin that may be responsible for high blood pressure. However, some studies aren’t clear as to whether vitamin C effectively helps with hypertension or cardiovascular disease and so it is always best to take Vitamin C, either through food or supplements, alongside and not instead of your high blood pressure medication.
Vitamin B6 is used in the conversion of food into fuel and is involved in the body’s metabolism process. Research has also shown that Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine can lower blood pressure as it reduces high levels of homocysteine in the blood, which has been implicated as a cause of heart disease. In one study, 20 people with hypertension were given 5 mg a day of B6 per 2.2 pounds of their body weight for a month. After the trial their blood pressure was shown to have gone down. However, doctors and medical researchers are still unsure about how Vitamin B6 actually affects heart conditions and how it reduces homocysteine. It is still important to make Vitamin B6 part of your diet, but it is recommended that you take supplements only if your doctor advises you to do so. Natural sources of Vitamin B6 include chickpeas, potatoes, fish, onions and spinach.