Hypertension is one of the most commonly encountered health issues in the Australian heath care system, using up to 11% of allocated government health expenditure. It is however less of a stand-alone issue, and much more a sign of significant health problems lurking beneath the surface. Properly addressing high blood pressure involves dietary and lifestyle modification, as well as assessing genetic factors and other contributing causes. However there are several key nutrients and botanicals that can significantly ameliorate high blood pressure and reduce the associated risks while deeper investigations and true healing is established.
Magnesium regulates the transport of calcium, sodium and potassium across the cell membranes of the body. In this way, magnesium can help to relax the smooth muscle of the blood vessel wall, in turn lowering blood pressure. I recommend either the magnesium citrate or bis-glycinate forms for the most effective absorption. If there are associated cardiovascular issues then the orotate form can provide further benefit. Aim for 600mg per day of elemental magnesium (in its unbound form) in divided doses of 200mg per serve.
Co-enzyme Q10 has several physiological benefits that can improve cardiovascular function. It can promote vasodilation, reduce blood viscosity, protect the heart muscle from cellular damage, and reduce the secretion of the blood pressure raising hormone aldosterone from the adrenal glands. CoQ10 is made naturally in the body, however is often depleted in cardiovascular patients. I recommend the ubiquinol form (which is the activated form of CoQ10) at a dosage of 200 to 300mg per day.
Alpha lipoic acid
ALA is a powerful antioxidant in its own right, but has the added benefit of being able to recycle vitamin C and E as well as improve the absorption of CoQ10 (all extremely important in cardiovascular function). I recommend 200mg per day.
The benefits of fish oil extend well beyond the cardiovascular system, however the active components EPA and especially DHA are particularly good at lowering blood pressure. Look for a high quality fish oil (preferably in liquid form) that is molecularly distilled and concentrated. Aim for at least 600mg per day of DHA and roughly the same amount of EPA.
This herb is one of the most powerful natural cardio-tonics around, with an amazing ability to not only lower blood pressure but also to protect the cells of the heart from damage and regulate the rhythmic pulsation of contraction that keeps blood moving throughout our body. Look for a formula that contains only the berry extract (some may include extracts from the leaf), and aim for 500mg to 1g of Hawthorn per day.
This list, whilst far from extensive, can effectively aid in the lowering of blood pressure and reduce cardiovascular risk while deeper investigations are undertaken and addressed. If you or a loved one is suffering from hypertension, I strongly encourage you to seek the assistance of a qualified health practitioner that can aid in uncovering the root cause of this all too common health issue.