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Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2017 Jan;83(1):163-171. doi: 10.1111/bcp.12902. Epub 2016 Mar 15.

Nutraceuticals with a clinically detectable blood pressure-lowering effect: a review of available randomized clinical trials and their meta-analyses.

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Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy.



The aim of the present study was to review and comment on the available evidence on nutraceuticals with a clinically demonstrable blood pressure (BP)-lowering effect.


We reviewed studies published in the English language from 1990 to 2015 on dietary supplements or nutraceuticals claiming to show an effect on human BP. An initial list of possibly effective agents and studies was obtained from the online reference, the Natural Medicine Comprehensive Database. Using PubMed, we searched agents identified from this list using the MeSH terms 'hypertension', 'blood pressure', 'dietary supplement' and 'nutraceuticals', alone and in combination. We then focused our attention on meta-analyses and randomized clinical trials.


Beyond the well-known effects on BP of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and the Mediterranean diet, a large number of studies have investigated the possible BP-lowering effect of different dietary supplements and nutraceuticals, most of which are antioxidant agents with a high tolerability and safety profile. In particular, a relatively large body of evidence supports the use of potassium, magnesium, L-arginine, vitamin C, cocoa flavonoids, beetroot juice, coenzyme Q10, controlled-release melatonin and aged garlic extract. The antihypertensive effect of all these nutraceuticals seems to be dose related and the overall tolerability is good.


Some nutraceuticals might have a positive impact on BP in humans. Further clinical research is needed, to identify from the available active nutraceuticals those with the best cost-effectiveness and risk-benefit ratio for widespread and long-term use in the general population with a low-added cardiovascular risk related to uncomplicated hypertension.


BP; blood pressure; clinical evidence review; dietary supplements; hypertension; nutraceuticals

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