Beyond medication – How does supplements help combat high blood pressure?

High blood pressure affects over 100 million adults in the alone. While medication is often necessary for treatment, many patients are exploring complementary supplements as additional support. It’s important to understand what the numbers from a blood pressure reading mean. The top number is the systolic pressure, which measures pressure in the arteries when the heart contracts. The bottom number is the diastolic pressure measured between heartbeats when the heart is resting.

Under 120/80 mmHg, a person has normal blood pressure. Elevated readings between 120-129/80 indicate prehypertension. High blood pressure is diagnosed when readings consistently exceed 130/80 mmHg. Chronically high blood pressure damages arteries and vital organs, increasing the risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney disease, vision loss, and cognitive decline. That’s why getting elevated levels under control is critical.

Lifestyle changes

Before considering supplements, certain lifestyle changes help lower blood pressure:

  • Losing extra weight
  • Reducing sodium intake
  • Exercising regularly
  • Managing stress
  • Limiting alcohol
  • Quitting smoking

For some patients, natural remedies further support reducing hypertension when combined with diet, exercise, and medication if needed. Research continues to reveal useful botanicals and nutrients.

Hawthorn berry

Hawthorn berry comes from the hawthorn flowering shrub native to northern European regions. In folk medicine, it has traditionally been used to promote heart health. Studies suggest hawthorn berry helps relax and dilate blood vessels, which lowers resistance to blood flow and reduces hypertension. It also appears to enhance circulating nutrient levels while demonstrating antioxidant properties. Overall, evidence indicates hawthorn supplements provide mild-to-moderate benefits for lowering blood pressure, especially for those with early-stage hypertension.

Garlic extract

Multiple research reviews report garlic extract supplements consistently lower blood pressure compared to placebo. The compound allicin is responsible for garlic’s vasodilating effects that decrease hypertension. To receive therapeutic benefits, studies show garlic extract must contain between 400-1,500 mg of allicin potential. The optimal dosage seems to be at least 600 mg per day, divided into multiple pills. While garlic extract appears effective for reducing blood pressure, garlic alone in foods likely does not provide enough allicin to treat hypertension. Supplements ensure adequate concentrations.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids found abundantly in fish oil help lower blood pressure through several mechanisms:

  • Reducing vessel constriction and increasing vasodilation
  • Decreasing triglyceride levels
  • Thinning the blood to improve circulation
  • Calming inflammatory responses

Multiple clinical studies confirm that omega-3 supplementation provides a modest reduction in hypertension. Even just 1 gram daily may benefit patients with high triglycerides and hypertension. When combined with a heart-healthy lifestyle, certain natural supplements may provide additional support for managing supplements for high blood pressure. Never stop taking prescribed medication without consulting your physician first. However, discuss supplement options that might improve your heart health and help get hypertension under control when paired with a healthy lifestyle.