GW of Carmel, Calif. Writes, “You have been very helpful in the past so I thought I would ask you another question. From my online research and from conversations with various people, I have identified several non-prescription antihypertensive drugs and I wanted to get your opinion on them. They are celery seed extract, grape seed extract, L-arginine, nitric oxide.

They are intended to help control and reduce blood pressure that is not too high or that is in the danger zone. Have you heard of this, and do you have any other recommendations for something that does not require a prescription and without the usual side effects you get from prescription drugs? “

Hello gary,

I found the following:

Celery seed extract is obtained from celery seeds. Limited small human studies showed that celery seed extract lowered blood pressure in middle-aged people. One study reported an effective dose of 150 milligrams per day. I have hardly found any other data on this product. (Don’t forget, you can also use celery seeds to flavor your food!)

Grape seed extract – made from the seeds of grapes – has been studied for its effect on blood pressure, but the results were inconclusive. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine, “it is possible that grape seed extract can help reduce blood pressure somewhat in healthy people and people with high blood pressure,” especially those who are obese or have what is known as a metabolic syndrome. Warning: High doses of this vitamin C supplement can worsen blood pressure.

Grape seed extract may also be unsafe for people with bleeding disorders or those taking blood-thinning medications such as warfarin and aspirin.

Arginine (L-arginine) is an amino acid that helps the body build protein. It is found in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, and legumes. If you eat a balanced diet of these foods, you can get around 4 to 5 grams of arginine per day, say the experts at the Mayo Clinic. Arginine converts into nitric oxide in the body, which dilates blood vessels to increase blood flow. This can help with blood pressure.

However, the limited studies of arginine supplements have shown little or no effects on increasing blood flow or blood pressure. Doses up to 9 grams per day seem safe, but some people report side effects like nausea and diarrhea, according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements.

As you can see, diet supplements can have side effects too. We’re just not that clear about what they are, as research on many of these products is often limited. Even products that are marketed as dietary supplements do not have to meet strict safety measures such as drugs. Therefore, you should always have this done by your healthcare provider who knows your individual health needs.

And yes, I have a recommendation for an over the counter product that will help lower blood pressure without the usual side effects. It’s called the DASH Diet – a well-researched eating plan that’s high in potassium, calcium, and magnesium. The right combination of these nutrients from food has been shown to lower blood pressure. look at it Here.

Barbara Quinn-Intermill is a Registered Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator at Community Hospital on the Monterey Peninsula, California. She is the author of “Quinn-Essential Nutrition” (Westbow Press, 2015). Send her an email at