Garlic and garlic supplements may be extremely effective in protecting against high blood pressure. One meta-analysis of 7 randomized, placebo-controlled trials found garlic significantly lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Another meta-analysis of 20 trials showed an average decrease in systolic blood pressure of 5.1 mm Hg and an average decrease in diastolic blood pressure of 2.5 mm Hg compared with placebo. In people with existing hypertension, the results were even more significant.
Coenzyme Q10, also called ubiquinone, is a compound that’s been shown to reduce both systolic (the top number, which indicates the maximum pressure your heart exerts while beating) and diastolic (the bottom number, which represents the amount of pressure in your arteries between beats) blood pressure. One meta-analysis found coenzyme Q10 could lower systolic blood pressure by up to 17 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by up to 10 mm Hg without significant side effects.
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Potassium balances the effects of sodium on blood pressure and helps decrease pressure on artery walls, but few Americans meet the recommended intakes. A number of studies show a significant reduction in blood pressure with increased potassium supplementation. Additionally, potassium significantly lowers the incidence of stroke, coronary heart disease, myocardial infraction and other cardiovascular events, by 6 to 15%.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 Fatty Acids have been shown to improve vasodilation – the dilatation of blood vessels, which decreases blood pressure – and arterial compliance – the ability of a blood vessel wall to expand and contract with changes in pressure. In a meta-analysis of 70 randomized controlled trials, omega-3 fatty acids reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Supplementing with EPA and DHA omega-3s was as effective, and in some cases more effective, than other lifestyle-related interventions, including increasing physical activity and restricting alcohol and sodium.