High blood pressure is a fairly big problem, so I thought some info on things that can help lower blood pressure would be helpful. First, let me be clear that I am not a doctor and this article does not negate the need for proper medical care or prescribed medications for high blood pressure. That said, there are some things recommended by some reputable sources that may be of help in lowering blood pressure, whether you are taking meds for this or not.
I’m pretty sure that most people know certain things that will help lower their blood pressure; improve your diet and take off excess weight, limit salt, limit alcohol or better yet don’t drink it at all, manage stress and get active with good exercise.
Minerals to lower blood pressure
Supplementing calcium, magnesium and potassium are important. And if you are using diuretics, these mineral supplements are even more crucial.
Proper levels of potassium helps in relaxing the walls of the blood vessels which can lower blood pressure. As well, potassium is also important for the conduction of electrical signals in the heart and nervous system which can protect against irregular heartbeats.
Magnesium aids in regulating multiple body systems, including blood pressure, blood sugar, and muscle and nerve function. It helps your blood vessels relax improves energy, which can help you be more active.
Calcium helps blood vessels tighten and relax which is key to improving blood pressure. Most people don’t get enough through their diet.
More info on these minerals to lower blood pressure can be found in this article: https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/key-minerals-to-help-control-blood-pressure
Niacin can help lower blood pressure
A study done on the effects of niacin in reducing blood pressure found: “Small clinical trials of acute niacin administration have shown significant BP-lowering effects of niacin in patients with hypertension.” Niacin can cause an uncomfortable flush for 20 minutes or so when you take it. I recommend taking very low doses, at least to start. I take 50 mg capsules. I initially got a very slight flush on this, but after several days of taking it, I don’t get any reactions.
Other studies have indicated niacin’s ability to reduce hardening of the arteries, also known as atherosclerosis, for some people. As discussed in one scientific review, “niacin has been shown to selectively increase the plasma levels of Lp-AI, a component of HDL that has a cardio-protective effect in patients with low HDL levels.” (1) In addition, “niacin supplementation has been shown to significantly decrease oxidative stress, which is known to contribute to atherosclerosis.” (2)
Other important supplements
Folic Acid: An article on Web MD refers to a study that was done on folic acid and lower blood pressure. It states: “Researchers say folic acid is thought to reduce the risk of high blood pressure by helping blood vessels relax and improve blood flow. Here’s that article: https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/news/20050118/folic-acid-may-fight-high-blood-pressure#1
L-Arginine has been found in several studies to improve oxygenation in the blood and to help reverse atherosclerosis (plaque build up in the arteries) which is a major cause of high blood pressure.
Lifestyle changes to lower blood pressure
Exercise has many benefits and is crucial to lower blood pressure. Exercise will also help you to shed excess weight and prevent weight gain, among many other benefits.
Of course, also decrease salt, caffeine and alcohol consumption and definitely don’t smoke.
Cut added sugar and refined carbs.
Sodas are a major source of added sugar. And diet sodas are no better, some say they are even worse. “There’s a growing body of research showing a link between added sugar and high blood pressure. In the Framingham Women’s Health Study, women who drank even one soda per day had higher levels than those who drank less than one soda per day. Another study found that having one less sugar-sweetened beverage per day was linked to lower blood pressure. And it’s not just sugar, all refined carbs can cause some increase in blood pressure.
Managing stress is also vital. Relaxation techniques such as meditation, mindfulness and/or breathing exercises can greatly help to lower blood pressure.
If you are on blood pressure medications, I would recommend simply adding these supplements and lifestyle changes and routinely check in with your doc. You may be able to gradually decrease your meds if these additional actions help in lowering your blood pressure further.
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.