Three supplements that could help lower blood pressure – backed by studies
Dr Chris Steele shares diet tips on reducing blood pressure
Having high blood pressure is fairly common in the UK, affecting around a quarter of adults – although many will not be aware they have it.
Also known as hypertension, the condition means your heart is working harder to pump blood around the body.
Over time it puts extra strains on your blood vessels and organs, including the brain, heart and kidneys.
If left untreated, hypertension can result in heart failure, stroke, heart attack, kidney disease and even vascular dementia.
There are several factors known to raise blood pressure such as diet, being overweight, not exercising enough and smoking cigarettes among others.
Therefore, health bodies recommend making changes to these habits to bring your blood pressure down.
Along with changing your diet, there are also supplements you can add to your routine to help with this.
Three such supplements include:
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is needed to keep the body healthy in various ways.
According to the NHS, these include:
- Helping to protect cells and keeping them healthy
- Maintaining healthy skin, blood vessels, bones and cartilage
- Helping with wound healing.
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But research has also suggested it could be key to keeping blood pressure healthy.
A study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2012, results from 29 existing trials were analysed.
It found that taking vitamin C supplements short term reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Systolic pressure is the top number when your blood pressure is tested and refers to the highest level your blood pressure reaches when your heart beats.
Whereas diastolic pressure is the lowest level your blood pressure reaches when your heart relaxes between beats.
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The study concluded: “In short-term trials, vitamin C supplementation reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
“Long-term trials on the effects of vitamin C supplementation on blood pressure and clinical events are needed.”
Turmeric is a common spice thought to have several health benefits due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
The main active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.
A meta-analysis of 11 studies, published in Pharmacological Research journal in 2019, revealed that it improved systolic blood pressure.
“The present meta-analysis suggests that consuming curcumin/turmeric may improve SBP when administered in long durations,” it said.
Zinc is a trace mineral, which means the body just needs small amounts.
However, research has shown that a deficiency could be linked to high blood pressure.
A 2019 study, published in the American Journal of Physiology, discovered that lower-than-normal zinc levels may contribute to high blood pressure (hypertension) by altering the way the kidneys handle sodium.
Researchers said: “Understanding the specific mechanisms by which [zinc deficiency] contributes to [blood pressure] dysregulation may have an important effect on the treatment of hypertension in chronic disease settings.”
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