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Foods and Supplements that Claim to Lower Blood Pressure

Myths – Foods and Supplements that Claim to Lower Blood Pressure

We are delighted to publish the following article from Becky Mackay who is an online writer, with a keen interest in health and lifestyle. For more top tips on high blood pressure and weight loss visit her Twitter page @FreshHealth11

Some dieticians claim that certain supplements and vitamins are highly effective at lowering high blood pressure. However, although many are able to reduce levels of hypertension, they may not lower them sufficiently enough to make any real change. They also only tend to work on mild to moderate cases of high blood pressures, which is 140/60 for mild hypertension and 140/180 for moderate hypertension. If you suffer from extreme levels of hypertension it is highly recommended that you visit your doctor and consider using a blood pressure monitor at home to take regular readings.

Below are some of the foods and supplements often recommended for those looking to lower their blood pressure.

Do or don’t they lower high blood pressure?


Garlic has also been known help lower high blood pressure and to help with other disorders of the cardiovascular system, including atherosclerosis and high cholesterol.

A recent study carried out by the University of Adelaide, Australia, claimed that members of the study into the effects of garlic upon high blood pressure found a significant decrease in the blood pressure levels, which was as high as the decrease provided by certain medication. However, many aspects of the study were overblown and the medication the results were compared to were actually inactive placebo pills rather than more effective medication, such as ACE inhibitors or beta-blockers.

CoQ 10

Coenzyme Q10 is an enzyme that provides energy for the body. You couldn’t function without CoQ10 and the body manufacturers it throughout life, although this production decreases with age. Some studies show that people who are deficient in CoQ10 are more prone to high blood pressure and also found that CoQ10 supplementation could lower blood pressure. However, the effects weren’t experiences until a month to three months of supplementation. CoQ10 lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels and its antioxidant properties help the vascular system. Some of the studies carried out, also found that only a slight improvement was found. One such study asked 79 patients with managed chronic congestive heart failure to take 100mg of CoQ10 or a placebo. After the study was completed, only a mild improvement was found in the quality of life of those taking CoQ10 in comparison to those taking the placebo.

Vitamin C

Studies have also shown that people with mild blood pressure often have a mild lowering of their blood pressure when they take vitamin C supplementation. Some biologists believe this happens because vitamin C removes lead from the body, a toxin that may be responsible for high blood pressure. However, some studies aren’t clear as to whether vitamin C effectively helps with hypertension or cardiovascular disease and so it is always best to take Vitamin C, either through food or supplements, alongside your high blood pressure medication.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is used in the conversion of food into fuel and is involved in the body’s metabolism process. Research has also shown that Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine, can lower blood pressure as it reduces high levels of homocysteine in the blood, which is implicated in the cause of heart disease. In one study, 20 people with hypertension were given 5 mg a day of B6 per 2.2 pounds of their body weight for a month. After the trial their blood pressure was shown to go down. However, doctors and medical researchers are still unclear about how Vitamin B6 actually affects heart conditions and how it reduces homocysteine. It is still important to make Vitamin B6 part of your diet, but it is recommended that you only take supplements if your doctor advises you to do so. Natural sources of Vitamin B6 include chickpeas, potatoes, fish, onions and spinach.

Therefore it is recommended that you stick to whatever your doctor has prescribed, rather than taking garlic as a complete treatment method.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Many studies have shown that an increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids can lower blood pressure, whether through fish oil supplements or flaxseed oil. Some physicians believe that flaxseed oil is more effective and more cost effective in reducing hypertension than fish oil. Physicians also believe that regularly eating fatty fish like salmon and herring also helps lower high blood pressure.

17 studies upon fish oil and high blood pressure came to the conclusion that 3 grams of fish oil every day could lower blood pressure. However, a quantity of fish oil that high should only become part of your diet at the recommendation of your doctor.

In conclusion, the above supplements do seem to have some effect on high blood pressure, however the actual effectiveness of such dietary changes should be seen as a supplementation rather than an overall treatment and specific, prescribed medication is still the best treatment for high blood pressure.

Omega 3 Fish Oil Better than Omega 3 from Flowers and Vegetables

Omega 3 Fish Oils – Something Fishy with New Legislation

If you buy various margarines and spreads such as sun flower and vegetable oil based spreads the labling will say they’re good for you because they contain Omega 3 oil.omega 3 fish oil

Now 20 of the world’s leading scientists who specialise in fats have signed a petition saying that the rules should be changed because that is misleading – Professor Jack Winkler of London Metropoloitan University has co-ordinated the petition and this interview is transcribed.

What’s happening is that some companies are putting vegetable or cheap  fish oils into their products and slapping a strong claim that they are high in omega 3 which implies that they will deliver the same health benfits for health and heart as the more expensive fish oils but they don’t.

The new regualtions make this legally permissable it would legalise the deception to consumers.

Fish Oils Best Omega 3? What about flowers and vegetable Oils?

You say fish oils – I thought that some of the omega 3 came from vegetables and plants such as sun flowers?

Thats right and they are cheaper – the companies want to use cheaper plant oils but use a claim that implies they are as good as more expensive fish oils and that is somehting that this new regualtion would make legally permissable even though it is substantively misleading.

Fish Oils Best for Omega 3s

The cheaper oils aren’t actually bad for you?

No – we actually want to claim – we have a big public health problem here – we eat too few of these healthy omega 3s – the best way to get them is to eat fish, but we don’t eat enough fish and we never will.

Add Omega 3 oil to food people like to eat

The second best way to do it is to take the food that people actually like to eat, and put the healthy omega 3s into them, fortify them. If we do that the companies will gain a commercial advantage and public health will be improved but we’ve got to have rules to make sure they do it properly and this rule will allow them to engage in trickery.

This rule is a European regulation and if it goes ahead things will effectively stay the same.

Claims such as “heart healthy omega 3 and 6” will still be able to be made even on cheap sun flower and vegetable oil based products.

When the new law came in in 2006 there was a transition period – so all claims that existed before the law could continue but that transition period expires on the 19th january 2010 – there is a rush to get legislation in place but are making a cods of it – technicla term in the fatty food science industry.

Rather than put “heart healthy omega 3” on the label we want them to be able to put “high in omega 3” but the only if they are the real omega 3s – the omega 3 from fish oil that deliver the cardiovascular benefits, the mental benefits.

If we do that then we give manufacturers the incentive to put good things into food – if they only put the cheap stuff in they shouldn’t be allowed to make the healthy claims.