Blood Pressure and Supplements
Finding supplements for high blood pressure is not difficult. A quick search on Amazon will reveal multiple pages of Blood Pressure Supplements which claim to help treat your elevated BP. The trick is then being able to find the right supplement - the one which is going to work for you.
The so-called Magic Bullet!
It seems to me that there are some standard criteria which all supplements need to meet in order to even stand a chance of warranting the label of viable. For example:
- The quality and purity of the principal ingredients used.
- Does the scientific research provide strong evidence that the main ingredients work?
- Thorough testing in both the production process and quality control of the end product itself.
- Is there a high percentage of satisfaction, or success rate from those consumers who have tried the product and are rating it?
Today’s product review will take a look at these factors!
Dr Mercola Blood Pressure Support
Product Reviewed: BLOOD PRESSURE SUPPORT
Price: US $50.33 per two bottles at AMAZON
Best Deal: Multiple bottle deals here
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5
What’s in it?
This supplement contains one main ingredient: GRAPESEED EXTRACT (GSE) - see product label below for dosage and other ingredients
The seeds of the grape have been found to contain high amounts of POLYPHENOLS (or anti-oxidants) which play an important role in the fight against free radicals in the body. Free Radicals have the potential to wreak havoc if left unneutralized, and can damage DNA, target cells for destruction and generally make the body more susceptible to diseases and premature ageing.
Scientific Evidence for GSE
So what evidence is there that Grape Seed Extract (GSE) has a beneficial effect on blood pressure?
The research to date is fairly limited although I did find one study of patients with *Metabolic Syndrome who were hypertensive which reported a beneficial effect of taking GSE on blood pressure.
A second long term clinical trial (which started and concluded in October) is specifically examining the effect of giving GSE to patients who are pre-hypertensive. It will be very interesting to see the results when published of this:
“Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial to Investigate the Effect of Grape Seed Extract Delivered in a Beverage on Blood Pressure in Individuals With Pre-hypertension.”
So, there is some evidence that GSE works to lower blood pressure, but it seems clear that more research is still needed in this area.
*Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels — that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. (Courtesy Mayo Clinic)
Blood Pressure Support Quality Control
This is one area in which I believe the manufacturer of Blood Pressure Support is doing a good job for the following reasons:
- The production process ensures that Grape Seed Extract is standardized to a 90-95% polyphenol extract. The patented method by which the grape seeds are processed also optimizes the bio-availability of the extract. Many other GSE supplements fail to deliver when it comes to standardization and bio-availability practices.
- To ensure purity of the product strict guidelines are followed in the production of each batch.
No toxic solvents are used in the chemical extraction process.
Each batch must be tested for the following: 1. Heavy Metals 2. Pesticide residues 3. Other Microbiological Contaminants.
Magnesium Stearate (a flow agent) is NOT used because it has been found to lower the effectiveness of the extract.
As a result of these production and quality control safeguards, the company ensures that you are receiving the highest quality and purest form of Grape Seed Extract in order to ensure maximum bio-availability and best absorption of the ingredient.
I looked the reviews on Amazon to see how well the supplement was working. At this time there are 25 reviews (a rather small sample field) of which 92% were satisfied with its results - 5 stars (76%) and 4 stars (12%) and 3 stars (4%). I also tend to pay attention to the 1 and 2 star ratings to find out reasons for the product in question not being successful.
Here I discovered 8% of reviewers, or just two people, found that Blood Pressure Support did not make a difference and gave it 1 or 2 stars. In one case the reviewer found it made him “feel agitated and did not help lower ” his blood pressure.
Firstly, Dr Mercola is a well-respected Natural Health Advocate and Osteopathic Doctor. I do not believe he would endorse a supplement if he did not believe it to contain the best possible ingredients. Indeed his Blood Pressure Support contains a patented ingredient MegaNatural ® BP which has been backed up by 2 clinical studies to prove it works to help manage blood pressure levels in people who were normal to pre-hypertensive.
Supplements, like medications, can of course affect one person differently than another person and so there is never a 100% guarantee they will be as effective on everyone trying them. Given that proviso, I am rating Dr Mercola’s Blood Pressure Support
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Why only 3.5?
I believe that this supplement will likely be most effective for those whose BP is in the high normal to pre-hypertensive range and who are also looking at a change in lifestyle in order to keep their BP in check and stop it edging up into the hypertensive range.
Anyone already on blood pressure medications for hypertension should most certainly consult with their Doctor before trying this supplement. There is not yet sufficient evidence to suggest that GSE alone is a suitable replacement for prescription medications.
Perhaps the results of the ongoing clinical trial will present new evidence for this once they are published later this year.
If you decide to order the supplement from Dr. Mercola’s website there is a money back guarantee should the supplement not live up to expectations. See here for details
I hope this review was helpful. As always I welcome feedback and discussion on this topic in the comments area below.