As runners, we’re pretty interested in our health and try to look after it the best way possible, especially when it comes to healthy blood pressure levels. But what happens when the numbers start to creep up? Can supplements really help to support a healthy blood pressure?
High blood pressure
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can seriously increase the risk of heart attacks, heart failure and strokes. It’s common knowledge that a healthy lifestyle including the right nutrition and regular movement can help to reduce high blood pressure levels, but according to many studies, certain supplements and foods can also help reduce high blood pressure too.
Magnesium is an important mineral that plays a role in regulating blood pressure. It’s involved in over 300 different processes in the body and helps support our nerve function and immune system whilst keeping our bones, teeth and muscles healthy too.
It’s believed magnesium helps support healthy blood pressure levels by helping the body release prostacyclin, a hormone-like compound that helps to reduce tension in blood vessel walls.
If you have a diet high in processed foods – salt especially – not only are your chances of high blood pressure heightened, but you’ll also be at risk of not getting enough magnesium, potassium and calcium too.
Potassium and calcium are both minerals that work beside magnesium to help maintain healthy blood pressure levels. A diet high in leafy green vegetables, nuts and healthy fats can be hugely beneficial.
A 2016 study based in the US analysed the results of 34 clinical trials involving over 2,000 people. The researchers found that taking 300 milligrams (mg) of magnesium per day for 1 month can increase magnesium levels enough to lower high blood pressure. Those who took magnesium in the study were found to have both lower blood pressure and improved blood flow.
The current nutrient reference value (NRV) for magnesium is 300mg a day for men (19 to 64 years old) and 270mg a day for women (19 to 64 years old). However, for those with a very active lifestyle, it’s recommended that you increase your daily intake to help support the nutrients your body loses.
The Primal Living magnesium supplement has been formulated from high potency bisglycinate (magnesium in its most highly bioavailable form to help maximise absorption). Unlike when it’s formulated from Oxide, the bisglycinate formula impacts the body quickly and effectively. Also, like all other primal supplements it is 100% natural and free from anything artificial. Please click here to find out more.
Omega 3 may be commonly known for supporting brain function and reducing inflammation, but research also suggests that it can help with lowering blood pressure too.
A 2014 meta-analysis used data from 70 randomized clinical trials (RCTs) to examine the effect of EPA and DHA (fatty acids) obtained from seafood, fortified foods, or supplements, on adults with and without high blood pressure.
What the researchers found was that the hypertensive study participants who received the omega 3’s DHA and EPA had an average decrease in systolic pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) of 4.51 mm Hg, while diastolic pressure (the bottom number) fell an average of 3.05 mm Hg, when compared to the placebo group.
The meta-analysis also found that the participants who received omega-3s, through supplements such as fish oil, the average decrease in systolic pressure was 1.75 mm Hg and diastolic pressure dropped by 1.1 mm Hg, despite the person’s blood pressure status.
Many people struggle to get enough omega 3 in their diets alone, but a high-quality fish oil supplement can help fill in the gaps. Primal Living’s Omega 3 supplement is one of the highest strength Omega 3 supplements on the market, with a huge 300mg of EPA and 800mg of DHA – a much higher strength than other comparable tablets.
As for the fish oil, Primal Living has extracted theirs from deep cold-water fish to avoid using fish that have been harmed by our polluted oceans. To find out more, please click here.
While studies are still limited, initial findings support that probiotics can help to reduce blood pressure levels thanks to their ability to promote a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut.
Probiotics are a combination of live bacteria and yeasts (microorganisms) and have been thoroughly studied in their ability to help restore digestive health and help keep your immune system in good working order.
This 2014 systematic review and meta-analysis combined the results of nine randomised controlled trials to understand the effects probiotics have on blood pressure.
After combining the results of the trials, the researchers found the following:
- Probiotic consumption significantly reduced systolic blood pressure by 3.56 mm Hg compared to control (systolic blood pressure is the “top” number and is the blood pressure in the arteries when the heart beats).
- Probiotic consumption significantly reduced diastolic blood pressure by 2.38 mm Hg compared to control (diastolic blood pressure is the “bottom” number and is the blood pressure in the arteries between heart beats).
- Overall, the systematic review and meta-analysis from 2014 found that probiotic consumption resulted in reductions in blood pressure.
While further research is required, having a healthy gut flora by eating foods high in probiotics is never a bad idea. If you think you may not be eating enough of these types of foods, then a high-quality probiotic supplement would be ideal for you.
Luckily, Primal Living’s ‘Probiotic 6 Billion’ contains 6 billion (hence the name!) colony-forming units that get transported to your gut via BIO-tract technology. Their patented probiotic tablet delivers up to 15x more friendly bacteria to your intestines than other capsules, powders or probiotic drinks (which are usually made with added sugar). To find out more about their probiotic range – including the range of child friendly probiotic – click here.
So, there you have it! Primal Living’s most recommended supplements to help support blood pressure levels are magnesium, omega 3 and probiotics. Of course, it goes without saying that your diet and lifestyle habits will without a doubt have the biggest impact on your blood pressure levels, so it’s always incredibly important to address any issues there first and foremost.
Proven methods to improve blood pressure include; quitting smoking, consuming less alcohol, eating a healthy and colourful diet, cutting salt consumption and of course moving more.
Supplements are only ever recommended when you cannot meet your recommended nutritional values through your diet alone and as a runner or regular gym-goer, it’s important to replace any extra vitamins, minerals or energy that you’ll deplete regularly too.