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ACE Inhibitors & Supplement Interactions

Question:
I take lisinopril (Zestril), an ACE inhibitor drug to lower blood pressure. Are there supplements I should avoid, or be taking, due to this drug?
Lisinopril, ACE Inhibitors and Supplement Interactions -- prescription bottle of lisinopril on desk with blood pressure cuff
Answer:
Yes, if you take lisinopril (Zestril, Prinivil) or another ACE inhibitor such as enalapril (Vasotec), quinapril (Accupril), benazepril (Lotensin), or ramipril (Altace) for high blood pressure or congestive heart failure, certain supplements may cause problems while others may be helpful -- some of which should be taken at a different time of day than your ACE inhibitor.

These interactions are explained in the ACE Inhibitors article, which is part of the extensive Drug Interactions section of our website (where you can look up interaction for other drugs you may be taking).

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COMMENTS

Daniel18241   August 22, 2019
I have found Dark Chocolate to be an effective blood pressure controller. And, it don't taste
half bad neither!
Cheerio

ConsumerLab.com   August 26, 2019
Hi Daniel - Be aware that while cocoa flavanols may modestly reduce blood pressure in healthy people, the benefit in people with hypertension appears to be quite limited. See the "What It Does" section of the Cocoas and Dark Chocolates Review https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Cocoa_Powders_and_Chocolates_Sources_of_Flavanols/cocoa-flavanols/#njike.

Daniel18262   August 26, 2019
Your information re chocolate and blood pressure is taken as offered. Thank you for your clarification. I stand corrected, sort of. However Here is how I came to my own conclusions on this matter.
I started "taking" eating more dark chocolate after laying off--got tired of it--for many months. Originally I ate it because I liked it--chocoholic for centuries or more. ( Note my exaggeration, fairly typical among some chocoholics.)
Then I read about an apparently worldwide scientific search for populations that didn't get hypertension as they aged. I think the article was in Science News.
A population was discovered on an island in the Caribbean. They aged without developing hypertension. But it was found that members of this group who had moved off island to cities--none were specified, but I imagine regional cities. The off-islanders exhibited BPs typical of most populations, ie their BPs ranged higher than the on island population, as they aged. The researchers identified the practice among islanders of drinking cocoa during the day. Emigrants had dropped that practice. Not exactly following stringent rules of evidence of Robert Koch, but pretty suggestive of a research project. I am unaware of any, but I haven't looked.

Daniel18263   August 26, 2019
Suddenly I found my BP in the range of 140-160 systolic, and upper 90s diastolic, in the morning before much activity, and even in the afternoon after not particularly stressful activities. Since I do not want to be on Blood Pressure meds I decided to once more eat a bit of the ol' Valrhona. daily And within a week my BP returned to normal. Then to double check, sorta on the lines of Koch's postulates, I discontinued the chocolate. Fairly quickly my BP began to rise. I recommenced eating chocolate and again my BP returned to normal levels--around 112/70, sometimes more, sometimes less.
SO.
Now, I have not examined the scientific literature on the matter, but, Suddenly last year I began to see articles in Science News suggesting that chocolate was ONLY effective when taken simultaneously with Blood Pressure meds.
This assertion does not match my experience. Indeed it doesn't match the original scientific research. Thus, I have begun to think that perhaps the new research has been "financed" by the drug companies themselves. I do Not trust it!
SO. Now I am going to try to perform a pretty exhaustive search of the literature for the truth.
I will report back to ConsumerLab when I find satisfactory evidence either way.

Grant18232   August 21, 2019
I would also note that ACE Inhibitors are associated with higher risk of lung cancer than using ARB ( angiotensin receptor blockers ) particularly if you have a family history of lung cancer.
https://www.bmj.com/content/363/bmj.k4209


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This CL Answer initially posted on 2/27/2014. Last updated 8/18/2019.
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