What Are The Best Vitamins For High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a silent killer because the signs and symptoms don't show up early enough to facilitate diagnosis.

Hypertension is classified as a chronic illness, and one of the leading causes is poor dietary habits. The disease accounts for about 13.6%¹ of the annual worldwide mortality rate, and early intervention is necessary to manage the symptoms.

What you eat goes a long way in helping you manage hypertension and live a quality life with the disease. Whether you've been diagnosed or are at risk of developing hypertension, it's important to understand the complexities of the disease and learn how you can self-manage it.

Doctors recommend lifestyle changes, mostly related to diet, and medication to treat hypertension.

Have you considered clinical trials for High blood pressure?

We make it easy for you to participate in a clinical trial for High blood pressure, and get access to the latest treatments not yet widely available - and be a part of finding a cure.

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is a medical condition where the force with which blood moves through the blood vessels is too high, subjecting the blood vessels and other organs to potential damage. 

As the heart pumps blood, its force creates pressure in the blood vessels to help it move through the arteries to supply oxygen to every organ. When the pressure in the arteries is higher than normal, it constricts the arteries, compromising the circulatory system.

Statistics show that over 100 million² Americans suffer from hypertension — about 47% of the population. Of this 47%, only 24% have their hypertension under control. Those who don't have their condition controlled have been reported to have a blood pressure of 140/90mm Hg and above.

A normal blood pressure reading for healthy adults is 120/80mm Hg and below.

What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?

The best and earliest indicator of high blood pressure is an elevated blood pressure reading. Other symptoms surface when the disease has taken root and could be life-threatening. 

These symptoms include:

  • Constant headaches

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Nosebleeds

  • Sweating

  • Facial flushing

  • Nervousness

  • Problems with vision

  • Dizziness

When you first get an elevated blood pressure reading, your doctor will recommend taking regular checks to monitor your blood pressure. Persistently elevated blood pressure may be caused by underlying conditions or be an indicator of hypertension.

You can manage hypertension and persistently elevated blood pressure by incorporating vitamins that help reduce blood pressure into your diet.

What vitamins are good for reducing high blood pressure?

Vitamins are naturally occurring essential nutrients required by the body for optimal health.  While some vitamins are produced in the body, most are found in food, although in small quantities.

Different vitamins play different roles in the body, and some can help lower blood pressure. This is essential for people dealing with hypertension.

The best vitamins for this are:

1. Vitamin C

Anecdotal studies³ show that long-term vitamin C intake — 500mg a day — helps reduce blood pressure.

A controlled study⁴ with 45 participants investigating the efficacy of vitamin C in reducing blood pressure yielded promising results. All participants had a previous diagnosis of stage II hypertension, and those taking medication discontinued their prescriptions to protect the integrity of the study.

Half the participants were given 500mg of vitamin supplements, and the control group received a placebo. After a month, the mean blood pressure reading for the experimental group showed a 9% decrease. In contrast, the control group showed no changes in systolic pressure with a slight drop in diastolic pressure.

While more research is required to understand the physiological role of vitamin C and its effect on blood pressure, scientists have come up with hypotheses.

The first explanation is that because Vitamin C is an antioxidant, it increases the levels of nitric oxide in the body, which is essential for normal blood vessel function.

Nitric oxide helps relax blood vessels⁵ for normal blood flow, and during oxidative stress, its production is inhibited, thereby causing degradation of the blood vessels.

A second explanation is that vitamin C serves as a diuretic, which helps drain fluid from the body, subsequently reducing blood pressure.

In hypertension, your blood sodium levels are high, causing an increase in blood volume. Through diuretic agents, excess sodium and body fluids are eliminated through the urine, helping to decrease the stress on vessel walls.

Natural sources of vitamin C

Vitamin C supplements have proven effective in hypertension management and disease prevention, among other benefits.⁶ While there is no noticeable difference⁷ between natural and synthetic sources, natural ones can contain other nutrients, which increases their overall nutritional value. 

Natural sources of vitamin C include:

  • Citrus fruits (e.g., oranges, lemons)

  • Pineapples

  • Strawberries 

  • Green leafy vegetables

  • Sweet peppers

  • Potatoes

  • Tomatoes

2. Vitamin D

Studies⁸ show that vitamin D levels are lower in people with hypertension than in a healthy population. Therefore, vitamin D supplementation could prevent the risk of hypertension by 30%⁹ and reduce blood pressure in those diagnosed with the disease. 

However, other studies¹⁰ dispute the benefits of vitamin D in lowering blood pressure, so more research is needed to support the claim.

Plausible evidence of the association between vitamin D and hypertension is that low temperatures increase blood pressure, also known as ‘winter hypertension.¹¹’ There's less sunlight during winter, which can cause vitamin D deficiency and hypertension, indicating a link between the two factors.

Natural sources of vitamin D

Vitamin D comes from sunlight or food sources such as:

  • Red meat

  • Liver

  • Egg yolk

  • Oily fish (e.g., sardines, salmon, mackerels, herring)

3. B Vitamins — B9, B6, and B2

B vitamins are a class of vitamins that play different roles in cell function and blood formation. There are eight B vitamins in total, but only three have a bearing on hypertension, namely:

  • Vitamin B9

  • Vitamin B6

  • Vitamin B2

Vitamin B9, also known as folate, is essential for blood formation and cell growth. Folate supplementation can help reduce blood pressure by promoting blood flow and helping blood vessels relax. 

Folic acid is an antioxidant that helps reduce oxidative stress that impairs the function of nitric oxide, thereby reducing blood pressure.

One study¹² showed a significant decrease in systolic pressure in hypertensive patients after taking folate supplements for six weeks. On the flip side, very little to no change was noted in diastolic pressure.

Animal studies¹³ show that vitamin B6 can reduce blood pressure, although no human studies have been conducted to prove the theory. Scientists presume that since low levels of vitamin B6 are prevalent in hypertensive patients, maintaining an adequate intake of this vitamin can help prevent the development of the disease.

Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, has been shown to lower blood pressure¹⁴ in people with a methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene mutation. The MTHFR gene is responsible for the synthesis of folate, which facilitates normal blood flow and blood vessel health. 

Mutation of MTHFR¹⁵ interferes with folate creation, increasing the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases in affected adults. So, riboflavin supplementation can reverse their effects.

Natural sources of B vitamins

Different foods have different B vitamins. Natural sources of vitamin B9 include:

  • Green leafy vegetables

  • Whole grains

  • Seafood

  • Peanuts

  • Beans 

  • Sunflower seeds

Natural sources of vitamin B6 include:

  • White meat: poultry, pork, and some fish

  • Bananas 

  • Oats

  • Soya beans

  • Wheatgerm

  • Peanuts

Natural sources of vitamin B2 include:

  • Dairy products

  • Eggs

  • Yogurt 

  • Lean meat

  • Salmon 

  • Chicken

  • Spinach 

  • Almonds

What mineral supplements are good for reducing high blood pressure?

Besides vitamins, some minerals are essential for managing high blood pressure. These include:

1. Potassium

One of the main roles of potassium in the body is to assist cellular fluid regulation. Normal cell function requires a balance of fluids within the cells. Potassium creates this balance by counteracting the effects of sodium.

More potassium in the body causes a reduction in sodium levels as more of it is excreted from the body through urine, subsequently lowering blood pressure.

Natural sources of potassium include:

  • Bananas 

  • Apricots

  • Grapefruit

  • Beans and legumes

  • Some vegetables, e.g., spinach, broccoli

  • Potatoes 

Excessive potassium supplementation can be harmful to the kidneys and is not recommended for patients with kidney disease.

2. Magnesium

Magnesium plays multiple vital roles in the body, including muscle and nerve function, protein synthesis, energy production, and blood pressure regulation.

Studies show¹⁶ that magnesium increases the production of nitric oxide, which helps blood vessels relax, thereby reducing blood pressure.

Natural sources of magnesium include:

  • Green leafy vegetables

  • Whole grains 

  • Beans and legumes

  • Avocados

  • Salmon 

Excessive magnesium supplementation has a laxative effect and may cause diarrhea.

3. Calcium

Calcium is an essential mineral in the body for bone building, blood clotting, muscle contraction, and regulation of heart rhythm. This mineral aids the contraction and relaxation of the blood vessel walls to control blood circulation. 

People with hypertension can take calcium supplements to help reduce their blood pressure or can increase their natural intake of calcium from:

  • Dairy products

  • Sardines

  • Dark-green leafy vegetables

  • Soybeans

Foods to avoid if you have high blood pressure

While healthy eating can help manage hypertension, eating the wrong foods can increase your risk of hypertension or worsen your symptoms if you already have high blood pressure.

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet was devised to help prevent hypertension and manage the disease in diagnosed patients. 

Studies show¹⁷ that the DASH diet lowers systolic blood pressure by up to 5.5 points and diastolic pressure by 3 points as early as two weeks after starting it. While results vary from person to person, the DASH diet seemed to lower blood pressure in hypertensive individuals even without them reducing their sodium intake.

According to the diet, here is what to avoid if you have high blood pressure or are at risk of developing hypertension: 

1. High salt/sodium intake

High salt intake increases water retention in the body as more water is required to flush excess salt out of your system. More body fluids exert more pressure on your blood vessels and heart to keep blood circulating. As a result, your blood pressure increases. 

Statistics show that, on average, Americans consume more than 3,400mg of salt a day — at least 1,100mg more than the level recommended by the American Heart Association.

2. Added sugar

Studies show that consuming foods with added sugar is a major contributor to obesity and other weight issues. Obesity is one of the highest risk factors for hypertension, implying a direct link between sugar and high blood pressure.

Studies show¹⁸ that lowering sugar consumption can help reduce blood pressure in people with obesity.

3. Saturated fats

Eating foods with saturated fats increases blood cholesterol, causing blood pressure to rise. When the body contains a lot of bad cholesterol, solid deposits may form in the bloodstream, restricting blood flow through the arteries.

Restricted blood circulation increases the pressure within the blood vessels, causing blood to flow at a higher pressure than normal.

Saturated fats are also the leading cause of coronary heart disease and stroke. The solid deposits in the blood can block arteries or cause a stroke when they get to the heart.

The lowdown

Hypertension is a health condition that affects nearly half the US population. There are several contributory factors, poor dietary habits being one of the main ones. 

Supplementing or taking foods rich in certain vitamins and minerals can help reduce the prevalence of hypertension and lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.

  1. Worldwide trends in prevalence, mortality, and disability-adjusted life years for hypertensive heart disease From 1990 to 2017 (2021)

  2. Facts about hypertension | Center for Disease Health and Prevention

  3. Effects of vitamin C supplementation on essential hypertension (2020)

  4. Treatment of hypertension with ascorbic acid (1999)

  5. Nitric oxide and blood vessels: Physiological role and clinical implication (1992)

  6. Vitamin C in disease prevention and cure: An overview (2013)

  7. Synthetic or food-derived vitamin C—Are they equally bioavailable? (2013)

  8. Vitamin D and hypertension (2010)

  9. Vitamin D and risk of future hypertension: Meta-analysis of 283,537 participants (2013)

  10. Effects of vitamin D on blood pressure and cardiovascular risk factors (2015)

  11. Winter hypertension: Potential mechanisms (2015)

  12. High-dose folic acid supplementation effects on endothelial function and blood pressure in hypertensive patients: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials (2009)

  13. The effect of vitamin B6 on the systolic blood pressure of rats in various animal models of hypertension (1996)

  14. Riboflavin lowers blood pressure in hypertensive people with the MTHFR 677TT genotype (2014)

  15. Associations of MTHFR gene polymorphisms with hypertension and hypertension in pregnancy: A meta-analysis from 114 studies with 15411 cases and 21970 controls (2014)

  16. Effects of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure (2016)

  17. The DASH diet, 20 years later (2017)

  18. Sugar-sweetened beverage, sugar intake of individuals, and their blood pressure (2011)

Have you considered clinical trials for High blood pressure?

We make it easy for you to participate in a clinical trial for High blood pressure, and get access to the latest treatments not yet widely available - and be a part of finding a cure.

Discover which clinical trials you are eligible for

Do you want to know if there are any High blood pressure clinical trials you might be eligible for?
Have you taken medication for High blood pressure?
Have you been diagnosed with High blood pressure?