Dietary supplements and hypertension: potential benefits and precautions

J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2012 Jul;14(7):467-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-7176.2012.00642.x. Epub 2012 May 14.


Dietary supplements (DSs) are used extensively in the general population and many are promoted for the natural treatment and management of hypertension. Patients with hypertension often choose to use these products either in addition to or instead of pharmacologic antihypertensive agents. Because of the frequent use of DS, both consumers and health care providers should be aware of the considerable issues surrounding these products and factors influencing both efficacy and safety. In this review of the many DSs promoted for the management of hypertension, 4 products with evidence of possible benefits (coenzyme Q10, fish oil, garlic, vitamin C) and 4 that were consistently associated with increasing blood pressure were found (ephedra, Siberian ginseng, bitter orange, licorice). The goals and objectives of this review are to discuss the regulation of DS, evaluate the efficacy of particular DS in the treatment of hypertension, and highlight DS that may potentially increase blood pressure.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ascorbic Acid
  • Citrus
  • Dietary Supplements* / adverse effects
  • Eleutherococcus
  • Ephedra
  • Fish Oils
  • Garlic
  • Glycyrrhiza
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / prevention & control*
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives
  • United States


  • Fish Oils
  • Ubiquinone
  • coenzyme Q10
  • Ascorbic Acid