Low Levels of Omega-3s May Have Significant Blood Pressure Effects
High blood pressure is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, one of the leading causes of death in the United States. A recent study suggests that consuming the recommended dietary amounts of omega-3s may help lower systolic blood pressure.
Participants in the study included 312 healthy men and women. They were randomly assigned to receive fish oil containing either 0.7 g of EPA and DHA or 1.8 g of EPA and DHA for eight weeks.
The researchers found no changes in blood pressure for the overall cohort. However, when they looked specifically on people with hypertension, they found that taking the omega-3 supplement was associated with an average 5 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure. The results were seen for both doses of the supplement. The researchers noted that a reduction of that level is associated with an approximately 20% reduction in cardiovascular disease in middle age.
This was the first study to find that relatively low doses of omega-3’s can have a significant impact on blood pressure. The majority of previous studies used doses of over 3 grams per day.
Researchers from the Universities of East Anglia, Reading, Southampton, Glasgow, and Newcastle conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on January 27, 2016, in The Journal of Nutrition.
Omega-3s have been linked to a number of health benefits, including better moods, improved joint mobility, helping with age related macular degeneration, and aiding your immune system.
Because omega-3 fatty-acids are not found naturally in the human body, it is especially important to make sure that they are a part of your daily diet. Oily, dark fish such as tuna and salmon are high in omega-3s. For vegans like the ones in this study or for folks who just don’t like fish, consider taking a daily high quality non-fish supplement that has been tested for purity and potency.