10 Vitamins and Supplements to Lower Blood Pressure you may Need

Finding out which are the top supplements to lower blood pressure is a daunting task. There is a lot of information about supplements out there that may or may not help you. As a former prehypertension patient, I tried a few of them that didn't do much. So, I took the task of researching upon myself and discovered which nutrients and supplements showed promise to keep the blood pressure in check.

Top 10 Nutrients to Keep your Blood Pressure Under Control

1. Coenzyme Q10

One substance that's quite intriguing is Coenzyme Q10 also commonly known as CoQ10. This powerful antioxidant found in several organs of the body such as the pancreas, liver, kidneys, and heart plays a role in the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule that stores energy to be used in many metabolic processes such as the contraction of muscles.

How does this supplement contribute to a healthier blood pressure? As an antioxidant, CoQ10 reduces oxidative stress in the blood by eliminating free radicals resulting in a higher concentration of nitric oxide (NO) in the body. NO is responsible for relaxing arteries, meaning that the more of it available, the easier it is for blood vessels to expand and reduce blood pressure.

People with isolated high systolic blood pressure can improve the most with CoQ10 as it can lower it without disrupting the diastolic one. As a matter fact, even during heart surgery, the substance may be able to increase the oxygen supply to the nearby tissues boosting the ability to regenerate.

How much do you need?

For those with standard hypertension, a dose of 120 to 200 mg daily can improve results. In the case of systolic hypertension, 60 mg two times a day is good enough.

Where can you get it?

Supplements with over 100 mg per dose are readily available. You also have the food approach, but the amounts are much lower. Organ meats such as heart and liver are your best bet with 2.6 mg of it in 3 ounces of beef.

Sardines, mackerel, tuna and other fish are also a good alternative, such as salmon, with around 2.3 mg of CoQ10 per 3 ounces. If you prefer vegetables, it can also be found in spinach, soybeans, and whole grains with ½ a cup of broccoli containing approximately 0.5 mg.

Tuna with mixed chopped vegetables

You have to be careful though while cooking them, as very high temperatures like the ones that occur during frying may cause the antioxidant to break down.

Potential risks

Like many other supplements, Coenzyme Q10 may interact with blood pressure medication boosting its effect.

2. Calcium

Calcium can do a lot more than just make your bones and teeth stronger. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, the most abundant mineral in the body, is essential for muscle contraction, nerve signaling, hormone production, expanding and dilating your blood vessels. It stabilizes your blood pressure by controlling the cells that make up arteries' walls.

A few studies have shown that an adequate intake can lower systolic and diastolic hypertension.

How much do you need?

While the amounts recommended may vary according to age, between 1000 - 1200 mg of calcium daily is good enough to regulate and prevent moderate cases of hypertension in most adults.

Where can you get it?

If there is one mineral that is easy to get is calcium. It can be obtained from a wide variety of sources such as milk, fish, and green leafy vegetables. One cup of yogurt, for example (the plain type, not the one overloaded with sugar), can provide 415 mg of the mineral. That is almost half of what most adults need. If you add a few sardines (325 mg) with a cup of fresh kale (94 mg), you will have more than two-thirds of your daily intake guaranteed.

Kale leaves

Potential risks

You can always supplement with extra calcium if you need to, but you shouldn't exceed 500 mg. Otherwise, your body won't be able to assimilate it and a lot of that calcium will be wasted (you don't want to throw it away). Also, too much calcium may be detrimental to your health.

3. Riboflavin

Another vitamin that can aid in the task of lowering your blood pressure is riboflavin. The nutrient, which is also known as vitamin B2, is vastly important for the synthesis of several coenzymes responsible for energy production, cell growth, and fat metabolism. So how the vitamin can lower your pressure?

Well, there is a particular enzyme called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) whose job is to ensure that folate can be used for the conversion of homocysteine to methionine. Without enough riboflavin, the transformation cannot take place. The result is the overload of the body with homocysteine, which has been associated with hypertension.

How much do you need?

Adults may only require from 1.4 to 1.6 mg of it per day. This isn't hard to get as you may achieve your daily dose without supplementation.

Where can you get it?

Riboflavin can easily be found in foods. For instance, 3 ounces of liver may contain up to 2.9 mg, which is almost the double of the required intake. Other good sources are oats (1 cup =  1.1 mg), yogurt (1 cup = 0.6 mg), and portobello mushrooms (½ cup = 0.3 mg).

That said, a good portion of the vitamin is typically destroyed during the cooking process as boiling, frying, and even microwaving will render some of it inert, which is why supplements are available in case of a severe deficiency.

Potential risks

So far no interactions with medications or side effects have been reported from its consumption.

4. Vitamin C

Known as one of the most potent antioxidants, vitamin C can do much more than neutralizing free radicals. L-ascorbic acid, which is the real name of vitamin C, boosts the response of your immune cells and aids in the building of neurotransmitters, collagen, L-carnitine, and certain proteins. The way this potent nutrient helps your blood pressure is quite similar to the CoQ10. Vitamin C antioxidant's properties enhance the bioavailability of nitric oxide keeping your arteries' walls dilated, allowing a smoother blood flow.

How much do you need?

The Food and Nutrition Board recommends an RDA (Recommended dietary allowance) of 75 to 90 mg of vitamin C every day for adults. Smokers need at least 35 mg more.

Where can you get it?

Our bodies can't produce vitamin C, so we need to consume fruits and vegetables to get our daily recommended dose. I'm sure you have heard that oranges are a good source and they are. However, there are other less-known sources that can be as good or even better.

Yes, a medium orange has around 70 mg of vitamin C, but ½ a cup of red peppers are filled with 95 mg! Even kiwis, which are rarely mentioned in the media have around 64 mg per medium-sized fruit.

Kiwi halves

Broccoli, strawberries, and potatoes are good alternatives as well to prevent the deficiency of this nutrient. Supplements of vitamin C are easily found at any pharmacy.

Potential risks

Vitamin C is rarely toxic and only individuals taking the supplement form may be affected by it. As long as you keep its consumption under 2000 mg a day (unless instructed by your physician) not adverse reactions should occur.

In the following video, Dr. Josh Axe explains a few natural remedies for overcoming blood pressure problems:

5. Magnesium

An often overlooked, but essential nonetheless mineral is magnesium. You may haven't heard about it, but in addition to calcium, it constitutes a significant portion of our bones. Furthermore, it takes part in over 300 enzymatic reactions such as protein, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), ribonucleic acid (RNA), energy production, glucose control, muscle and nerve function, and even proper heart rhythm.

While scientists aren't entirely clear about the way it works, magnesium seems to reduce inflammation, lower angiotensin-induced aldosterone synthesis and have a relaxing effect on blood vessels. All of these have a blood pressure reducing effect worth noting.

How much do you need?

The daily recommended dose for adults is from 320 to 420 mg of magnesium every day.

Where can you get it?

Most people are magnesium deficient. As a matter of fact, you could have low levels of the mineral right now and not know it. To get proper levels be sure to consume spinach (½ cup = 78 mg), almonds (1 ounce = 80 mg), cashews (1 ounce = 74 mg), peanuts (¼ cup = 63 mg), brown rice (½ cup = 42 mg), etc.

Fresh spinach

Fortified cereals are also good sources of magnesium although processing may have lowered the displayed amount.

Magnesium supplementation is fairly common, but not all are the same. Citrate, aspartate, lactate and chloride forms are more readily absorbed than oxide and sulfate.

Potential risks

You shouldn't go over 350 mg per day when taking a magnesium supplement as it may cause many problems such as impaired kidney function, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, weak bones, etc. This risk applies only to those using supplements as any excess taken by food is eliminated by the kidneys. Magnesium may also interact with certain medications like antibiotics, that's why you should consult with your physician before taking any supplement.

6. Potassium

If you want to keep your blood pressure under control, you need potassium. It helps by maintaining electrolyte balance, adequate nerve function, and proper muscle contraction. There is an inverse relationship between potassium and sodium. The more potassium is consumed, the more sodium will be excreted in the urine, and the lower your blood pressure will become.

How much do you need?

As long as you ingest around 4700 mg of potassium every day, you shouldn't experience any deficiency symptoms.

Where can you get it?

This may come as a surprise to you, but the best source of potassium found in nature are potatoes. One medium potato (926 mg) has enough potassium to cover ¼ of your daily requirement.

Yellow potato

Other popular sources of the nutrient are bananas (1 medium = 422 mg), dried prunes (½ cup  = 637 mg), and oranges (1 medium = 237 mg). As you can see, there isn't a shortage of foods rich in this important electrolyte.

In rare cases, you could use a supplement but only under the direct supervision of your physician.

Potential risks

It is quite uncommon to reach toxic levels of potassium through food as the kidneys can maintain the proper balance with ease. However, if you take supplements, you have to be careful as they may cause gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and even hyperkalemia.

Oral doses of potassium may also interact with a wide number of blood pressure medications, so sticking with the foods is ideal.

7. Vitamin D

Another vitamin for high blood pressure is vitamin D. It is a major component of the immune system and contributes to the growth of cells. Additionally, it is responsible for maintaining the balance between calcium and phosphorus. Research has shown that vitamin D has a strong effect on blood pressure by influencing the synthesis of the renin enzyme.

How much do you need?

The daily recommended amount of vitamin D is 2000 IU for adults.

Where can you get it?

Vitamin D is one tricky nutrient, acquiring it may be hard or easy depending on where you live. The primary source of this substance is sunlight. Yes, you read that right. By exposing yourself to the sun, you might be able to lower your blood pressure and get a tan at the same time! The amount of vitamin D synthesized in your body will vary according to your skin color (the darker you are, the longer you will need to stay in the light), the latitude (the further north you are, the less vitamin you will make), and age (older people naturally produce less).

Sun rays

If for some reason, you aren't able to get enough sunlight, salmon (3 ounces = 447 IU), swordfish (3 ounces = 566 IU), and tuna (3 ounces = 554 IU) are decent sources. Most of the people are vitamin D deficient, so supplementation is almost always necessary.

Potential risks

You shouldn't exceed 4000 IU per day with a vitamin D supplement. Otherwise, you may have a higher risk of developing certain cancers, bone problems, and cardiovascular events. It can also interact with some weight loss drugs.

8. Sodium

The counterpart of potassium is sodium. Its role is to balance electrolytes, control muscles, and regulate nerves' signals in the body. The amount of sodium also determines how much of fluid is moving around the body, including your blood. A high intake of sodium increases blood pressure which may lead to hypertension.

How much do you need?

The maximum recommended amount per day in healthy individuals is 2300 mg. If you have hypertension, you should lower your intake to 1500 mg.

Where can you get it?

Most people get way more sodium than they need in the form of salt (sodium chloride).
One teaspoon of salt contains around 2300 mg of sodium, which is more than enough to satisfy your dietary needs. If you have hypertension lower your intake to 1500 mg.

Fine sea salt

There is no need for sodium supplements.

Potential risks

The risk of consuming too much sodium is hypertension and other cardiovascular problems that may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

9. Alpha-Linolenic Acid

If you have heard about omega-3 fatty acids, then you should know that alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is one of them. ALA is often used to regulate the heart's rhythm and prevent blood clots. It may also help by lowering blood pressure, preventing heart attacks, and reversing the hardening of atherosclerosis.

How much do you need?

Around 2.2 grams per day should suffice to aid in the prevention of heart disease and reduce blood pressure in adults.

Where can you get it?

Foods sources are ideal when it comes to ALA. Flax seeds with 2.2 grams per tablespoon should be your top choice. Only one tablespoon is more than enough to get what you need. Walnuts (0.7 grams per tablespoon) and flaxseed oil (8.5 grams per tablespoon) are other alternatives but may require several doses to get the desired amount.

Chopped walnuts

Potential risks

Blood thinning medication users should be careful when consuming ALAs. Omega-3s may boost the effects of the drugs and risk possible bleeding.

10. L-Arginine

L-arginine is an amino acid, and it is one of the building blocks of proteins found in the body. It has been studied quite a bit, quite a bit, and it may help in the treatment of congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, and hypertension. So how can this be? L-arginine is used by the body to make nitric oxide. In conjunction with CoQ-10, it improves circulation by widening arteries resulting in a lower blood pressure.

How much do you need?

For hypertension, 4 to 24 g should reduce it significantly.

Where can you get it?

A few of the food sources you can consume to get L-arginine are turkey (3 ounces = 16 g), chicken (3 ounces = 9 g), and pumpkin seeds (1 cup = 7 g).

Slice of baked turkey breast

Potential risks

You should ask your doctor before supplementing with L-arginine if you are using a medication for blood pressure as it can lower it too much.

As you can see, there is plenty to choose from when it comes to vitamins and nutrients for high blood pressure. Remember, they will work if you use them in conjunction with a healthy diet and moderate exercise.

Consult with your physician before trying any supplement, especially if you are taking hypertension medications.




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