Supplements for High Blood Pressure: What to Know

Medically Reviewed By Marie Lorraine Johnson MS, RD, CPT

Nutritional supplements are one of many natural ways to potentially reduce blood pressure (BP). Examples of antihypertensive supplements include potassium, beetroot juice, and vitamin C. This article discusses supplements that may be beneficial for people with high blood pressure.

Always check with your doctor before trying any new supplements or making drastic changes to your diet.

Vitamin C

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Several sources have found evidence that vitamin C could have beneficial effects on BP.

For example, a 2018 review Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source states that vitamin C has powerful antioxidant properties. These properties can promote vascular, or blood vessel, function, which could be beneficial in preventing and treating hypertension.

Another review from 2020 Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source adds that vitamin C could aid in the production of nitric acid, which helps relax blood vessels and reduce BP.

You can take vitamin C as an oral supplement or find it in dietary sources such as:

  • oranges
  • strawberries
  • guava
  • broccoli
  • tomatoes
  • bell peppers

Learn more about the benefits of vitamin C.

Beetroot juice

Beetroot juice could lower BP by promoting nitric oxide production, according to experts Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source

Nitric oxide is a compound that improves endothelial function. Endothelial function is the mechanism your blood vessels use to dilate and constrict themselves. Nitric oxide facilitates vasodilation, which is when your blood vessels relax to enable blood flow. 

Beetroot juice may also significantly lower both systolic BP (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP), according to other researchers Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source . SBP and DBP are the numbers on a blood pressure reading.

Potassium

Potassium may benefit people with high BP by reducing sodium levels in the body, according to research from 2015. High sodium levels can increase BP and raise the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Another review from 2018 Trusted Source American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Peer reviewed journal Go to source concludes that eating more potassium could help both prevent cardiovascular events and lower BP.

In addition to oral supplements, these foods contain potassium:

  • potatoes
  • dried fruits, such as raisins
  • spinach
  • broccoli
  • avocado
  • bananas

Learn more about potassium supplements.

Lycopene 

Lycopene is a naturally occurring compound in tomatoes and other pink, red, and orange fruits. Lycopene could have favorable effects on cardiovascular health.

One research review Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source finds that lycopene can improve vascular function and lower risk of cardiovascular disorders. The authors also state that lycopene can reduce artery stiffness.

A separate review from 2020 Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source notes that lycopene could produce antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects to reduce BP. The study adds that lycopene may also protect against atherosclerosis, which is a buildup of fat in the body’s artery walls.

You can consume lycopene from supplements or find it in dietary sources such as:

  • tomatoes
  • papayas
  • cranberries
  • watermelon

Probiotics

Probiotics are good bacteria that help your body fight disease. Probiotics may also lower BP through a number of mechanisms.

A 2020 meta-analysis finds that probiotics can reduce body mass index and blood glucose. The paper also notes that probiotics can reduce SBP and DBP in people with high BP, particularly in those who also have diabetes.

Another 2020 study Trusted Source Wiley Peer reviewed journal Go to source involving rats suggests that probiotics can protect against endothelial dysfunction associated with genetic high BP.

Learn more about the benefits of probiotics.

Magnesium

Aggregated research Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source of individuals with noncommunicable chronic conditions indicates that magnesium could positively impact BP. These impacts include: 

  • connecting with calcium in such a way as to widen the blood vessels 
  • reducing resistance to blood flow in the blood vessels 
  • increasing nitric oxide release 
  • promoting endothelial function 
  • enhancing the effects of antihypertensive medications

Other research suggests Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source that a magnesium intake of 100 milligrams per day may reduce the risk of high BP by 5%. However, the review also states that researchers have not adequately investigated the relationship between magnesium and hypertension. As such, more research is necessary to fully understand magnesium’s potential benefits for people with high BP.

In addition to supplements, whole grains and leafy, dark-green vegetables provide magnesium.

Learn more about magnesium supplements.

Cocoa

Some of the natural compounds in cocoa may exert beneficial effects on BP. These compounds may increase Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source nitric oxide production to improve vasodilation. Cocoa is also rich Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source in potassium and magnesium, which are both BP-friendly.

In addition, a 2022 review Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source finds that cocoa consumption for more than 2 weeks resulted in lowered SBP and DBP.

Garlic

A group of scientists Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source conducted a systematic search of studies on garlic supplements. The researchers included 17 trials in their study and found the following:

  • Garlic intake induced a 3.75 millimeter of mercury (mm Hg) reduction in SBP.
  • Garlic intake induced a 3.39 mm Hg reduction in DBP.

Another review from 2020 Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source pooled the results of several studies on Kyolic aged garlic extract. Reviewers observed the following:

  • Kyolic aged garlic extract could significantly reduce central BP and pulse pressure.
  • Kyolic aged garlic extract could improve artery stiffness and gut microbiota.

Learn 12 health benefits of garlic.

Fish peptides 

Certain fish peptides may have cardiovascular-healthy properties. Peptides are short amino acid chains that can have varying health benefits.

Research from 2017 indicates that a combination of sardine peptide and quercetin could inhibit inflammation and alleviate high BP. Quercetin is a plant compound.

Other research notes Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source that bonito fish supplementation may lower both SBP and DBP in people with moderately high BP. The paper also states that bonito fish peptides could moderately regulate gene expressions related to cardiovascular risk.

L-arginine 

2016 research Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source notes that L-arginine could positively influence BP and immune regulation by boosting nitric oxide production. The paper also suggests that L-arginine could reduce SBP and DBP in people with high BP.

Another study finds Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source that L-arginine could reduce pulse pressure in the aorta, the main artery in the body.

You can get L-arginine as a supplement or in foods such as:

  • nuts and seeds
  • legumes
  • turkey
  • beef
  • chicken

Precautions

Keep these precautions in mind when considering taking supplements for high BP:

  • More conclusive data on the exact BP effects from supplements is necessary.
  • The effectiveness of supplements can vary Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source depending on your diet and lifestyle.
  • Some supplements may interact with certain high blood pressure medications. 

Always get a doctor’s advice before trying any new supplements.

Summary

A variety of nutritional supplements may positively impact high BP. These supplements include potassium, lycopene, and garlic.

Remember to speak with your doctor before trying any new supplements.

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Medical Reviewer: Marie Lorraine Johnson MS, RD, CPT
Last Review Date: 2023 Jan 5
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