All this week, I’ve been reporting about ways to support your cardiovascular health without taking drugs. And today, I will specifically discuss four science-backed nutrients that have been shown to help lower your blood pressure naturally.
But first, let me back up and explain why my thinking about how to manage blood pressure has evolved in recent years…
Mounting concerns about all blood pressure medications
As you may recall, in the past, I’ve always recommended taking only older, generic blood pressure medications, as needed, to keep high blood pressure under control. But, as I explained on Tuesday, some recent developments have made me reconsider that stance…
For one, there are mounting safety concerns about even generic blood pressure medications. Not to mention the growing list of side effects associated with brand-name ACE inhibitors.
It’s gotten so bad that my own personal physician of 30 years said he no longer really knows what to think about these drugs in terms of how to manage high blood pressure safely.
I—on the other hand—have seen and heard more than enough!
In fact, on July 4, 2019, I declared my own independence from blood pressure drugs and stopped taking my daily dose of losartan. I felt confident giving this option a go because, for one, I had already been carefully adjusting my diet and lifestyle over the past several years.
I also began closely monitoring my blood pressure readings several times a day at home. Now, as I mentioned on Tuesday, I would often get “white coat hypertension” in the doctor’s office, with elevated readings, as I was getting ready to argue with doctors, physician-assistants, and nurses about their mainstream dogmas. But I found that when I was relaxed at home, my blood pressure was essentially normal for my age—even without the drugs!
Now, what really gave me the confidence to run with this drug-free approach was all the emerging science showing that nutrients and botanical remedies—which I had already been taking—can safely lower blood pressure as well as, or better than, most drugs for most people most of the time. In fact, the science shows these natural approaches produce the same physiological effects as blood pressure drugs…but without all the side effects.
So, let’s talk more about the science on four potent nutrients shown to support healthy blood pressure. (And tomorrow, I’ll talk about three minerals that are a gold mine for managing blood pressure naturally.)
1.) Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
CoQ10 begins in the body as an antioxidant called ubiquinol. And every single cell in your body contains it. In fact, the highest concentration of ubiquinol is found in your heart.
So, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that supplementing with CoQ10 also supports healthy blood pressure. I usually recommend 200 mg of CoQ10 daily. But a recent study found that just 60 to 100 mg of CoQ10 daily reduces blood pressure by an impressive 17 points. And that improvement can make the difference between you needing to take a prescription drug…and avoiding that route completely!
Hawthorn is a European herbal folk remedy that has been used to support heart health for nearly 2,000 years. It works by dilating blood vessels and improving blood flow, which combine to help lower blood pressure.
One very interesting study of people with diabetes and hypertension found that taking 1,200 mg daily for 40 weeks significantly lowered diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number).
3.) Olive leaf extract
People throughout the Mediterranean have used phenolic-rich olive leaf extract as something of a “cure-all” for centuries. And some recent studies have zeroed in to look at its positive effect on blood pressure, specifically.
In fact, in one recent study, people who took 500 mg per day of olive oil extract reduced their systolic blood pressure (the top number) readings by six points and diastolic readings five points. Plus, people who took 1,000 mg a day reduced their systolic readings by 13 points and diastolic readings by five. And in another study, olive oil extract reduced the need for blood pressure drugs by 48 percent!
4.) Fish oil
For decades, the mainstream has questioned—even bashed—the idea of taking fish oil supplements to support heart health. And they point to the same small, inadequate, poorly designed studies that failed to find any benefits. But there’s an obvious reason for that apparent lack of benefit…
The doses they used in those studies were ridiculously low and nowhere near a therapeutic level. Remember, it’s important to take fish oil supplements that contain as many omega-3 fatty acids as what you’d get by eating a healthy serving of fatty fish—like salmon.
Fortunately, in recent years, we’ve started to see quite a few studies that use higher, therapeutic levels. And the results, in terms of reducing blood pressure, have been pretty impressive…
In fact, a huge analysis of 70 clinical trials found that people who took fish oil supplements that contain 300 mg to 15 grams (15,000 mg) of omega-3s for four to 26 weeks “significantly” reduced blood pressure. And the greatest reductions were among “untreated” participants with high blood pressure.
Just remember—unless you eat seafood every day, you should take a fish oil supplement daily. (See the June 2018 issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter [“Why I’m upping my recommendations for this “controversial” supplement”] for my latest dosing recommendations.)
And for general heart health support, I recommend looking for supplements that also include B vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin K2, and betaine (TMG).
For the full back story about why I no longer recommend blood pressure medications, be sure to check out the current October 2019 issue of Insiders’ Cures (“Here’s why I no longer recommend any blood pressure medication”). If you’re not yet a subscriber, make sure to get started now, as you won’t want to miss this important report. And be sure to tune back in tomorrow to learn about the minerals that are a gold mine for lowering blood pressure naturally.
P.S. I’m thrilled that my brand new Breathe Better Lung Health Protocol is now available! If you or a loved one are suffering from a chronic lung disease—like COPD, lung cancer, and asthma—or have weak lungs, this comprehensive, online learning tool can help! To learn more, or to enroll today, simply click here!
“Treatment of Hypertension with Nutrition and Nutraceutical Supplements: Part 1.” Alternative & Complementary Therapies, 2018; 24(6):260-275. doi: 10.1089/act.2018.29191.mho
“Coenzyme Q10 in the treatment of hypertension: a meta-analysis of the clinical trials.” Journal of Human Hypertension 2007; 21: 297-306. doi:10.1038/sj.jhh.1002138
“Hypotensive effects of hawthorn for patients with diabetes taking prescription drugs: a randomised controlled trial.” Br J Gen Pract. 2006;56(527):437-43