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Omega-3s May Boost Heart Health for Kidney Disease Patients

People with chronic kidney disease (CKD) can have up to a 50 fold increased risk of heart disease. A recent study found that supplements of omega-3 essential fatty acids may decrease the blood pressure and heart rate of CKD patients.

The study was published in the September 2009 issue of the Journal of Hypertension.

Omega-3's are essential fatty acids and have been shown to provide a number of health benefits, particularly with regard to cardiovascular health. These essential fatty acids are found most abundantly in oily fish like mackerel, trout and salmon and can also be bought in supplement form.

Researchers also tested CoQ10 in the study. CoQ10 is a naturally occurring enzyme and powerful antioxidant found in every cell of the human body. It has been shown to provide a wide range of heart health benefits.

Researchers from the University of Western Australia and Royal Perth Hospital recruited 85 individuals with CKD and an average age of 56 for the study.

The participants were randomly assigned to receive one of 4 supplements for 8 weeks:

1. 4 grams of omega-3 essential fatty acids

2. 200 mg of CoQ10

3. Both omega-3 and CoQ10

4. A placebo (4 g olive oil)

The participants taking only omega-3 essential fatty acids saw a 3.3 and 2.9 mmHg decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and a reduction of heart rate of 4.0 beats per minute.

They also had a 24% decrease in triglyceride levels, which are an independent risk factor for heart disease.

In a blood pressure reading, systolic pressure is the top number and diastolic pressure is the bottom number. A normal value for a resting, healthy adult is 115 mmHg systolic and 75 mmHg diastolic.

The participants taking only CoQ10 saw no benefits in blood pressure or heart rate but participants taking both omega-3 essential fatty acids and CoQ10 saw similar results as the omega-3 only group.

Although this study found no correlation between CoQ10 and blood pressure, previous studies have found a clear link between low levels of the enzyme and increased risk of heart disease.

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