Supplements for High Blood Pressure
Julian Whitaker, MD
When you visit your doctor, you can expect to get a prescription for a drug—it’s what they do. When you visit a doctor at the Whitaker Wellness Institute, expect to get a prescription for nutritional supplements—that’s what we do. I’m convinced, based on more than 30 years of treating patients with these safe, natural therapies, that nutritional supplements are among the most powerful tools in medicine today.
Let’s take a look at some of my favorite supplements for high blood pressure.
Balance3 is a blend of Chinese herbs that is remarkably effective in lowering blood pressure. Its only side effect is that it occasionally makes people sleepy. We turn this liability into an asset by suggesting that patients take a larger dose at bedtime.The recommended dose is one to three tablets twice a day.
Magnesium is another essential nutrient for the cardiovascular system that also lowers blood pressure. Multiple studies have demonstrated that people with the highest intakes of magnesium have the lowest blood pressure. Magnesium deficiencies are common, which is why I recommend a minimum of 500 mg of magnesium a day.
The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil provide broad benefits for the cardiovascular system, from reducing inflammation and excessive blood clotting to preventing dangerous heart arrhythmias and spasms that drive up blood pressure. The suggested dose of fish oil is a minimum of two 1,000 mg capsules a day.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is involved in cellular energy production. In addition, it is a potent antioxidant. This supplement is an excellent therapy for all manner of cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension. I recommend taking 200 mg a day, with meals.
Arginine is an amino acid that is the precursor to nitric oxide, which is a primary regulator of blood pressure. Nitric oxide signals the smooth muscle cells of the arteries to relax. This increases their diameter and allows blood to flow more freely with less pressure against arterial walls, thus lowering blood pressure. The recommended starting dose of arginine is one gram three times a day, although some people require double that dose to notice benefits, and doses up to 20 grams are sometimes used. An easier option is time-release arginine; use as directed.
Hawthorn (Crataegus oxyacantha) contains a unique compound that has potent antioxidant activity, improves the elasticity of the blood vessels, and enhances heart function. Hawthorn also relaxes and dilates the arteries and inhibits ACE (an enzyme that raises blood pressure), thus reducing blood pressure. The recommended dose is 360 mg a day of an extract standardized for 4 percent vitexin.
Peptides (protein fragments) from the bonito fish lower blood pressure in a manner similar to one of the most effective antihypertensive drugs: ACE inhibitors. This supplement inhibits the action of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), which in turn blocks the production of angiotensin, a substance that activates hormones that drive up blood pressure. The recommended dose of fish peptide extract is 750 mg twice a day. It should not be used by people taking an ACE-inhibitor drug.
Garlic has multiple protective effects on the cardiovascular system. In addition to helping lower blood pressure, it also reduces cholesterol, improves circulation, and enhances the health of the arteries by reducing plaque accumulation. You can eat one or two cloves of garlic daily or take it in supplement form. You’ll find a variety of garlic supplements in your health food store. Use as directed.
Free radicals damage the arteries, making them less elastic and less responsive to changes in blood pressure. Therefore, an important part of your supplement program should be antioxidants. Make sure your daily multivitamin contains at least 1,000 mg of vitamin C and 400 IU of vitamin E, as well as hefty doses of beta-carotene, selenium, zinc, and other antioxidants.
Folic acid and vitamins B12 and B6 also provide powerful protection by normalizing levels of homocysteine, a toxic amino acid that damages the arteries. Homocysteine also blocks the production of nitric oxide. My recommendations for B-complex vitamins are 800–1,200 mcg folic acid, 150–1,000 mcg vitamin B12, and 75 mg vitamin B6.
- If you’d like to see a Whitaker Wellness physician for a personalized program of nutritional supplements and other therapies for lowering blood pressure and improving cardiovascular health, contact a Patient Services Representative at (866) 944-8253 or click here.
Modified from Health & Healing with permission from Healthy Directions, LLC. Copyright 2008. Photocopying, reproduction, or quotation strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher. To subscribe to Health & Healing, click here.
One-Stop Shop for Wellness and Supplements for High Blood Pressure
Renowned physician, author, and speaker, Julian Whitaker, MD, opened the doors of the Whitaker Wellness Institute in 1979. Since then, our clinic has helped more than 45,000 patients overcome serious health challenges and get back on the road to healthy living. We’re proud to offer nearly two dozen safe, innovative, healing therapies under one roof—that’s more than any other facility in the northern hemisphere. Just think of us as your “one-stop shop for wellness.”
To learn more about how supplements for high blood pressure can safely and naturally eliminate hypertension and help restore your health and vitality, click on the buttons below to schedule a complimentary consultation or contact us to learn more. You can also schedule your complimentary consultation or obtain more information by calling our Patient Services Representatives at (866) 944-8253.
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