I’ve long believed that following my Pan-Asian Modified Mediterranean (PAMM) diet will go a long way toward helping you lower your blood pressure readings, because it is brimming with key nutrients that reduce blood pressure naturally.
Unfortunately, even if you stick with such a heart-healthy diet 100 percent of the time, you still may not get the most protective level of the key nutrients needed to reduce high blood pressure. That’s because our soils have been nutritionally depleted through decades of artificial fertilization and intensive farming, leaving many of our foods with less than ideal amounts of much-needed nutrients.
To ensure that you’re getting the support your body needs to either reduce high blood pressure or maintain healthy blood pressure, I recommend taking targeted natural supplements every day.
Start With These 5 Supplements to Reduce Blood Pressure
My real go-to supplements for lowering blood pressure include coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), L-carnitine, magnesium, and D-ribose, which are crucial for cellular energy production. That’s important because the heart requires an immense amount of energy to function at peak efficiency.
In addition to these four natural supplements, it’s important to add omega-3 essential fatty acids to the mix. Here are my recommended dosages for each of these supplements to reduce blood pressure.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is made naturally in the body, although we make less of it as we age. CoQ10 helps make cells healthier and less vulnerable to constriction, therefore helping to reduce blood pressure.
Suggested dosage of this supplement to reduce blood pressure: I recommend taking 100 to 200 mg daily. I suggest supplementing with the water-soluble form of CoQ10 and taking it with meals.
The body also makes L-carnitine and it is found in meat, particularly lamb. This natural water-soluble compound works synergistically with CoQ10 and I had great success helping patients maintain healthy blood pressure when the two were taken together.
Suggested dosage of this supplement to reduce blood pressure: I recommend taking 150 to 450 mg of L-carnitine daily in divided doses.
Many people are magnesium deficient and don’t even know it, which is unfortunate because this crucial heart health mineral can prevent arrhythmias as well as lower blood pressure. Magnesium deficiency is so rampant because certain medications, stress, and a poor diet can all deplete our bodies of magnesium.
Suggested dosage of this supplement to reduce blood pressure: I recommend taking a broad-spectrum magnesium supplement that contains the four most absorbable forms: glycinate, taurinate, orotate, and citrate. Take 400 mg daily with meals.
D-ribose is a naturally occurring, simple five-sided sugar that supports the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP)—energy—in your heart and skeletal muscles. That ATP energy helps your heart to contract as it should, allowing it to pump out blood that benefits every cell and system in your body.
Suggested dosage of this supplement to reduce blood pressure: Take 5 to 15 grams daily in divided doses. A level teaspoon is about 5 grams, similar to the scoop that is usually in the container.
Omega-3s are called “essential” fatty acids because your body can’t make them—so you need to get them through food or supplements. In fact, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2016, healthy young people may be able to help prevent the onset of high blood pressure by eating a diet rich in omega-3 fats.
There are two main types of omega-3s: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). While both types of omega-3s are needed for optimal health, the latest research indicates that DHA omega-3s offer the best support for blood pressure, arterial health, and circulation.
Suggested dosage of this supplement to reduce blood pressure: Try supplementing with 1 to 2 g of omega-3s daily. For extra blood pressure support, you can increase to 2 to 3 g daily. Calamari (squid) oil supplements are a great source of omega-3s, since calamari oil is naturally high in DHA. You also want to eat a diet that features foods high in omega-3 fats, such as wild-caught salmon and other cold-water fish, dark leafy greens, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and flaxseeds.
Plus, Include These Natural Blood Pressure Reducers In Your Diet
Nattokinase is derived from the traditional Japanese soy product natto. This supplement helps address one of the most overlooked problems in the development of arterial disease and high blood pressure: hyperviscosity, which refers to thick and sticky blood that moves slowly through the circulatory system. Nattokinase reinforces the actions of plasmin, your body’s own enzyme that breaks down the clotting agent fibrin, thereby preventing abnormal thickening of the blood and helping to lower blood pressure.
Suggested dosage of this supplement to reduce blood pressure: Start with 50 mg of nattokinase per day and raise the dose to 100 mg after a week. Nattokinase supplements are widely available in health food stores. A note of caution: People taking pharmaceutical blood thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin) should not take natural blood pressure reducers like nattokinase, because the combination may thin the blood too much.
Garlic is an excellent natural blood pressure reducer. In fact, it is so effective as a blood thinner that I have instructed some patients to lay off garlic if they are on a pharmaceutical blood thinner such as Coumadin. As for its effect on blood pressure, in an Australian review of 11 studies in which patients with high blood pressure were randomly given either garlic or a placebo, garlic reduced blood pressure as effectively as some drugs.
Suggested dosage of this supplement to reduce blood pressure: Since you need to eat about four cloves of garlic (about 4 grams) daily to achieve a noticeable blood pressure–lowering effect, a garlic supplement is a great natural way to lower blood pressure. I like enteric-coated softgel garlic capsules because softgels are better absorbed in the body. Take 500 to 1,000 mg daily in divided doses.
Hawthorn, like garlic, is a natural blood pressure reducer. Although hawthorn has been used medicinally for centuries, in the last 100 years it has become increasingly popular for cardiovascular health, including reducing blood pressure.
Hawthorn acts in a fashion similar to a commonly prescribed class of high blood pressure medicines called ACE inhibitors, especially when combined with a garlic supplement. Specifically, the combination of hawthorn and garlic inhibits angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), minimizing the production of angiotensin II—a powerful blood vessel constrictor responsible for increasing blood pressure.
Suggested dosage of this supplement to reduce blood pressure: For blood pressure support, I recommend taking 500 mg of hawthorn extract 2 to 3 times daily. However, always check with your doctor before taking hawthorn extract, particularly it you are taking prescription heart medications.
Blood pressure naturally fluctuates over a 24-hour period and is highest during the day and lowest at night. Researchers call this natural drop in pressure a nocturnal dip. Folks whose nocturnal blood pressure drops 20 to 30% from their daytime high are called “extreme dippers.” And those who experience drops of 10 to 20% are called “dippers.” Both types of dippers have a much lower rate of death from cardiovascular events.
Taking melatonin can help you become one of these dippers. Ongoing research has shown that oral melatonin can act as a natural supplement to lower blood pressure by promoting the dipping process. Not surprisingly, the studies indicate that melatonin improves sleep quality, which allows the body to relax more.
Suggested dosage of this supplement to reduce blood pressure: I suggest taking 2.5 mg of melatonin at bedtime.
Research indicates folate can reduce high blood pressure risk. In a study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, women who took more than 1,000 mcg a day of folate (folic acid) had an astonishing 46 percent lower risk of high blood pressure than those getting less than 200 mcg a day.
While researchers have yet to fully explain how high folate intake is a natural remedy for high blood pressure, we do know that folic acid reduces homocysteine levels, and high homocysteine levels are toxic to blood vessels in the brain and heart. This study also demonstrated that women who got their folate from dietary sources—such as oranges, leafy greens, and beans—did not derive the same benefit as those taking folic acid supplements.
Suggested dosage of this supplement to reduce blood pressure: Most of us only get about 200 mcg of folate in foods, so I recommend taking at 400 to 800 mcg a day in supplement form to promote normal blood pressure levels.
Many people assume they’re getting enough vitamin D through their diet or through the synthesis of sunlight by the skin. Yet vitamin D deficiency is still a widespread problem—and numerous studies have linked low blood levels of vitamin D with an increased risk of arterial stiffness and endothelial dysfunction, as well as other cardiovascular issues.
Suggested dosage of this supplement to reduce blood pressure: Since taking too much vitamin D can be as risky as having a vitamin D deficit, I suggest a daily intake of 1,000 to 3,000 IU of the vitamin D3 form. I also recommend having your vitamin D level checked at least once per year to make sure you are in the vitamin D sweet spot and getting all of the benefits without any harm. A note of caution: Those with adenoma of the parathyroid gland, granulomatous diseases, lymphoma, sarcoidosis, and tuberculosis need to be careful about taking vitamin D and should check with their doctor first.
The amazing benefits of L-arginine extend broadly for both cardiovascular and overall health. As far as blood-pressure benefits are concerned, L-arginine supports the production of endothelium-derived nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels and allows blood to course through them more easily.
The typical American diet contains about 5 grams of L-arginine, mostly from red meat. Nuts, eggs, tofu, tuna, and salmon are better food sources, but you’d have to eat enormous amounts of these foods to get the full benefits of L-arginine.
Suggested dosage of this supplement to reduce blood pressure: I recommend taking 2 to 3 g of L-arginine 3 times daily (aiming for 6 to 9 g per day). L-arginine comes in pill or tablet form. A note of caution: Talk to your doctor before supplementing with L-arginine if you have had a heart attack, especially within the past year.
Grape Seed Extract
Made from the ground seeds of red wine grapes, grape seed extract helps to protect the endothelium (the inner lining of your blood vessels) by fostering nitric oxide production. In turn, nitric oxide promotes healthy dilation of your veins and arteries, so blood can move throughout your body. Plus, it prevents red blood cells from sticking together and creating dangerous clots and blockages.
Suggested dosage of this supplement to reduce blood pressure: Take 50 mg of grape seed extract twice daily.