Alternative medicine

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Although diet and exercise are the most appropriate tactics to lower your blood pressure, some supplements also may help lower it. However, more research is needed. These include:

  • Fiber, such as blond psyllium and wheat bran
  • Minerals, such as calcium and potassium
  • Supplements that increase nitric oxide or widen blood vessels (vasodilators), such as cocoa, Coenzyme Q10 or garlic
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish, fish oil supplements or flaxseed
  • Probiotics, found in fermented dairy products such as cultured yogurt, buttermilk, acidophilus milk, cultured sour cream and cheese

While it's best to include these supplements in your diet as foods, you can also take supplement pills or capsules. Probiotic supplements, however, have been studied in a limited number of trials, and conclusions haven't been made regarding their potential effect on blood pressure. Talk to your doctor before adding any of these supplements to your blood pressure treatment. Some supplements can interact with medications, causing harmful side effects, such as an increased bleeding risk that could be fatal.

You can also practice relaxation techniques, such as yoga or deep breathing, to help you relax and reduce your stress level. These practices may temporarily reduce your blood pressure.

Sept. 06, 2014

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