Blood pressure gives us an idea on the health of our arteries. It is an important part of our medical vital signs. Having high blood pressure is associated with many unhealthy conditions including hardening of the arteries, heart problems, diabetes and stroke.
Visit your doctor and explain your plan of wanting to do a trial run of supplements to lower your blood pressure. Your doctor can explain any interactions with current medications and can help you by having you come in for monthly check-ups or weekly phone conversations for advice.
Obtain your current blood pressure with your blood pressure monitor. To get an idea of true blood pressure, it will need to be taken at least three times over the course of several days. Record this information in your diary. A reading of less than 120/80 mm/Hg is healthy. Extremely high readings of greater than 160/100 mm/Hg will need more appropriate medical intervention than supplements alone, so call your doctor if this is the case.
Set a time line of three to six months and the desired goal. A reading of less than 120/80 mm/Hg is considered healthy. Readings of 120 to 139/80 to 89 is pre-hypertension; 140 to 159/90 to 99 is stage one hypertension; 160/100 or greater is stage two hypertension and a reading of 180/110 or greater requires medical intervention immediately.
Pick one to two supplements at a time to track the benefits. To lower your blood pressure only with supplements, you will need a trial of eight to 12 weeks. Popular supplements that have effectively shown a decrease in blood pressure are niacin, Coenzyme Q10, and omega fatty acids. Other supplements that are mildly useful are calcium/magnesium supplements and time-released garlic capsules.
Purchase the desired supplement(s) from a nutrition store. The vitamins will need to have a type of quality assurance guarantee. Ask for help picking out supplements.
Test your supplements before taking them. This test involves placing each caplet, tablet or oil capsule in a cup of warm water for 20 minutes. If the vitamin dissolves and breaks apart in water in 20 minutes, that indicates the pill will break down appropriately in the stomach and small intestine.
Follow the bottle's dosing instructions, and note any side effects like stomach upset. This may indicate a need to eat food when you take the supplement. If there are other side effects, note them and decide if you want to continue with that supplement. This is why it is important to only test one or two supplements at a time.
Recheck blood pressure twice a week over the course of the eight to 12 weeks and look for a trend. A decrease in either the top or bottom number is a positive sign.
Stop taking the one or two supplements and switch to new vitamins, if you want to test more. Use the same time period as before to track results. Once you are done testing all the supplements you will know which ones are most effective for you to take over time.
Re-visit with your doctor and show her your blood pressure log and supplement list. Talk with him about these options and long-term use.
Consider adding other changes in your life, like the DASH diet and exercise, to help lower blood pressure.
- “Journal of Human Hypertension;” DASH lowers blood pressure in obese hypertensives beyond potassium, magnesium and fibre.; Al-Solaiman et. al.; July 23rd 2009.
- “Conservative Care Pathways- Hypertension;” Ron LeFebvre, D.C. and Jim Gerber, D.C.; 2005
- “Hypertension Research;” Time-released garlic powder tablets lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure in men with mild and moderate arterial hypertension.; Sobenin IA et. al.; June 2009.