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Last modified on November 5th, 2022
Does aspirin lower blood pressure? The answer might seem that yes, aspirin might lower blood pressure, but there’s more to it than that. below we delve into everything else you need to know about taking aspirin for blood pressure. We also cover a few natural supplements that might help you lower your blood pressure as well.
What Is Aspirin?
Aspirin is an over-the-counter and commonly used medicine for pain relief.
It is also used as a blood thinner, and it has anti-inflammatory effects.
Aspirin can lower the risk of stroke and heart attack in people who are high-risk, and sometimes, after someone has a heart attack, a doctor will give them aspirin. The aspirin that’s used after a heart attack can prevent more heart tissue death and further clots.
Aspirin is classified as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug or an NSAID. It contains something called salicylate, which is found in certain plants like the willow tree, and it has been used for thousands of years. Hippocrates was even known for using willow bark to help with fevers and pain.
NSAIDs aren’t narcotics, so they don’t cause euphoria or a slow down in the central nervous system.
Common conditions aspirin is used for include menstrual cramps, arthritis pain, migraine, and during a cold or flu.
Aspirin may be used to help with the swelling and pain associated with certain autoimmune and rheumatic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus.
Low-dose aspirin is often recommended by doctors for people who are taking antihypertensive medicine, have had diabetes for more than ten years, or are at risk of colorectal cancer.
The most common side effects of aspirin can include nausea, indigestion, and stomach irritation. Much less frequently, side effects of aspirin can include stomach inflammation, stomach bleeding, and bruising.
A rare but possible severe side effect of taking daily low-dose aspirin is a hemorrhagic stroke.
Understanding Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is also known as hypertension. This occurs when the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels is consistently elevated.
Your organs and tissues need oxygenated blood to survive and function. Your circulatory system is responsible for carrying that oxygenated blood throughout your body.
Your heart beats and creates pressure to push your blood through your vessels. Vessels include your veins, capillaries, and arteries.
Blood pressure is the result of two different forces.
There’s systolic pressure. This occurs when your blood is pumping out of your heart and into your arteries.
The second force is known as diastolic pressure. This is created when your heart is resting between beats.
You see these two measures of force when you get your blood pressure taken.
Having high blood pressure can increase how hard your heart and blood vessels work, and then over time, they’re less efficient.
The force of high blood pressure can also create friction that damages the tissue inside your arteries.
Hypertension can put a person at risk of developing a range of health conditions, including heart attack and stroke.
The relationship between high blood pressure and heart attacks may be one reason that people wonder does aspirin lower blood pressure.
Below we explore the specifics of that topic more.
Does Aspirin Lower Blood Pressure?
So, does aspirin lower blood pressure?
There is some evidence that aspirin could lower blood pressure, particularly when it’s taken at bed.
This refers primarily to low-dose or baby aspirin.
Some researchers believe low-dose aspirin can help prevent the risk of major heart events and also help control blood pressure in people with mild-to-moderate hypertension. It seems to only have this benefit when taken at bed for whatever reason.
However, there are some big things to note when answering does aspirin lower blood pressure.
First, aspirin doesn’t actually lower blood pressure for most people with high blood pressure, from what we can tell overall. The biggest benefits of aspirin come from the fact that it has antiplatelet activity. That means it can thin the blood and make it less sticky, which is how it can help prevent heart attacks and strokes. The benefit doesn’t necessarily come from its ability to lower blood pressure.
For people with long-term hypertension who take blood pressure medicine, research has not found that aspirin lowers their blood pressure whether they take it in the morning or at night.
In some people with hypertension, NSAIDs like aspirin can also raise blood pressure.
So what does all this mean? Does aspirin lower blood pressure?
Probably not, although it can be helpful in other ways for people at high risk of cardiovascular events. For some people, taking aspirin at bedtime may have benefits, but this is something that should only be done at the discretion of your doctor.
According to both the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, taking daily aspirin, including low-dose aspirin, can put you at risk of internal bleeding.
You absolutely should not take aspirin if you have gastrointestinal injuries, kidney failure or liver injury, or if you have low platelets.
Natural Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure
While aspirin probably won’t do much to lower your blood pressure, there are other things you can do instead.
Supplements That Lower Blood Pressure
There are certain supplements you might talk to your doctor about to lower your blood pressure naturally.
- Magnesium: This mineral is so important for our health, and it also helps regulate your blood pressure, but it’s also something many of us are deficient in. Magnesium can reduce blood pressure by increasing your production of nitric oxide, which helps relax blood vessels. Taking anywhere from 365 to 450 mg of magnesium for an average of 3.6 months significantly reduced blood pressure in one study.
- Vitamin D: There’s research indicating that people with high blood pressure often have lower vitamin D levels. Taking a vitamin D supplement might help with blood pressure.
- Potassium: One of the most studied and best-known supplements to lower blood pressure is potassium. You can improve your potassium intake with the food you eat or by taking it in supplement form. Potassium is thought to help high blood pressure because it can encourage the removal of sodium through urine and it may relax blood vessels.
- Beetroot: A beetroot supplement or beet juice can reduce blood pressure. It’s also often used by athletes who want to improve their exercise performance because it helps boost blood flow and oxygen to the muscles.
Final Thoughts—Does Aspirin Lower Blood Pressure?
The evidence that aspirin could lower blood pressure is minimal at best. The reason people probably ask the question does aspirin lower blood pressure is because they know that a low-dose aspirin supplement can help with cardiovascular conditions.
Taking aspirin can have a number of serious side effects, including an increased risk of bleeding, so you shouldn’t use it daily as a way to lower blood pressure or for any other reason unless your doctor tells you to.