The answer is, yes. You can. Check out these options to lower your blood pressure naturally — without potentially dangerous beta-blockers.
Look around you. For every two people that you see, one has high blood pressure. Unfortunately, because hypertension is so common, dismissing it as no big deal is tempting. However, remember that just because something is familiar doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Untreated, high blood pressure increases the risk of many health conditions, including:
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Kidney damage
- Vision problems
- Sexual dysfunction
The vast majority of individuals with high blood pressure are prescribed drugs to fix the problem, with beta-blockers being the most commonly used pharmaceuticals for hypertension. In fact, upwards of 30 million Americans use beta-blockers each day.
Beta-blockers reduce the workload of the heart, thus lowering the heart rate and blood pressure. They also assist in widening blood vessels to improve blood flow throughout the body.
What’s the problem with beta blockers?
Beta-blockers, medically named beta-adrenergic blocking agents, work by blocking particular hormones in the nervous system that help to manage the body’s stress response. In the process of blocking epinephrine, also referred to as adrenaline, a person’s heart rate slows, reducing stress on the heart and lowering blood pressure.
However, stress hormones serve an important physiological role in our bodies. Humans rely on that beta surge of adrenaline, which benefits the body in many ways. Unfortunately, suppressing this natural response often leads to extreme fatigue, low libido, dizziness, nausea, constipation, sleep disturbances, and erectile dysfunction.
Moreover, research suggests that beta-blockers may not be as effective as they’ve been made out to be. For example, a 2012 study of nearly 45,000 heart patients in the prestigious JAMA concluded that beta-blockers did not reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, or death. A second study published the same year found that individuals who took their medication had the same chance of dying as those who did not.
Four natural alternatives to beta-blockers
Magnesium is an essential mineral when it comes to heart health. In an ideal world, we would get all the magnesium we need from our diets. But, unfortunately, food has become depleted of this vital nutrient. Thanks to poor farming practices, changes in our environment, and the process of shipping and storing food, most people simply can’t get enough magnesium from food alone.
Magnesium plays several roles in cardiovascular health, with the primary job of relaxing the blood vessel walls. Magnesium acts as a natural beta blocker, working to lower blood pressure and heart rate.
Science illustrates that magnesium is an effective anti-hypertensive. For example, a 2016 meta-analysis of 34 randomized, double-blind studies concluded that oral magnesium supplementation significantly reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
In addition to hypertension, a 2018 study also found that less-than-ideal magnesium levels contribute to arrhythmias, arterial calcification, heart failure, and an increased risk for blood clots. Magnesium is also helpful in regulating the nervous system and lowering anxiety.
While there are many magnesium supplements on the market, not every one contains the correct type of magnesium. Magne 5 is a specially formulated supplement created by Dr. Jack Wolfson. Instead of one type of magnesium, Magne 5 includes the five essential kinds. This combination works at the cellular level to support healthy blood pressure.
Like magnesium, potassium is a great way to lower blood pressure without beta-blockers. Present in all body tissues, this mineral and electrolyte is necessary for the proper cellular functioning of the heart.
The body doesn’t make potassium on its own, and therefore it must come from the diet. Unfortunately, potassium deficiency is a common problem in the United States. The recommended daily potassium intake is 4,700 mg, which, as with most dietary recommendations, is likely too low. Sadly, most Americans get half the recommended amount per day.
Diets high in potassium help to lower blood pressure. One mechanism by which this happens is through potassium’s ability to help remove excess sodium from the body. Studies have found that adequate potassium levels help keep blood pressure in check.
While plenty of potassium supplements are on the market, we are partial to Potassium Boost. This exclusive formula contains 1,200 mg of elemental potassium and 120 mg of magnesium. Together, these minerals act as a natural anti-hypertensive without the nasty side effects.
Lithium often has a negative connotation, likely because it’s often used as a mood stabilizer in higher doses. However, very few people realize that lithium is an essential naturally-occurring dietary mineral in grains and vegetables. When used in low doses, lithium serves a vital role in heart health.
Unfortunately, as with magnesium and potassium, we do not get enough lithium in our diet. Lithium is required for vitamin B12, folate transport, and many other biochemical processes in the body. While poorly studied, some research suggests that lithium acts to lower blood pressure.
Lithium slows heart rate, decreases stress, calms the sympathetic response, and naturally lowers blood pressure when supplementing in small doses, such as those in the Cardio-Lith supplement.
Berberine is a natural compound found in the roots and stems of many plants, including barberry, Oregon grape, and goldthread. While used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine, it’s recently gained popularity in Western medicine for its cardiovascular benefits.
Multiple studies have found that berberine lowers blood pressure. While the exact mechanism by which this happens is still being discovered, researchers have found that berberine causes a release of nitric oxide and relaxes vascular smooth muscle. In addition, berberine has also been shown to lower high cholesterol and blood sugar naturally.
Berberine, or Berbe, helps to maintain blood pressure within normal range while simultaneously reducing inflammation, controlling blood sugar, and preventing heart disease.
Curcumin, a substance in turmeric, is a popular spice used in many dishes worldwide. This potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant has been proven helpful in the fight against high blood pressure.
Curcu Gold provides a highly absorbable form of curcumin that uses specialized emulsion technology to deliver turmeric’s many nutrients to the cells. As a result, Curcu Gold lowers inflammation, blood pressure, and the risk of heart disease.
The bottom line on beta-blockers
There is a time and place for pharmaceuticals when treating cardiovascular problems. However, it’s essential to acknowledge that many of these drugs, including beta-blockers, have significant side effects. Therefore, whenever possible, they should be used as a last resort.
Thankfully, nature provides many healthy alternatives to help reduce blood pressure effectively and safely. If you are currently taking beta-blockers, talk to your doctor about the possibility of taking a more natural approach to your health.