Does Omega 3 Lower Blood Pressure?
Written by Eli Ben-YehudaOn June 30, 2018
This weeks question comes from William K, from Pontiac Michigan. Do Omega-3 fish oils capsules really help lower blood pressure. That is a great question William let’s see what the research has to show.
Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA–found in fatty fish and fish oil supplements–reduce blood pressure as effectively as lifestyle changes such as exercising more, cutting back on salt, or limiting alcohol, according to a recent meta-analysis published in American Journal of Hypertension.
That’s good news for the 70 million Americans who suffer from hypertension (HTN). Defined as blood pressure of 140/90 or higher, HTN is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke, contributing to about 1,000 deaths a day in the United States, reports the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Yet only 47 percent of those with HTN have the problem under control, according to the analysis.
The researchers pooled data from 70 randomized clinical trials (RCTs) examining the effect of EPA and DHA from seafood, fortified foods, or supplements, on adults with and without high blood pressure.
Omega-3 fatty acids support brain function, including memory, reduce inflammation, and enhance cardiovascular health. Research suggests that people with lower omega-6 to omega-3 ratios have a reduced risk for such conditions as diabetes and heart disease. A simple blood test called OmegaCheck™ can measure the balance of fatty acids in a person’s diet.
The analysis found that hypertensive study participants who received the Omega 3’s DHA and EPA had an average decrease in systolic pressure (the top number in the reading) of 4.51 mm Hg, while diastolic pressure fell an average of 3.05 mm Hg, compared to the placebo group.
“Results from this study build on a wealth of prior data indicating that EPA+DHA intake reduced the risk of cardiovascular events,” said Adam Ismail, executive director of the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED). “It is now well-established that EPA and DHA reduce triglycerides and blood pressure and even highly critical meta-analyses have found that they reduce cardiac death risk by 9 percent.”
You may be thinking to yourself it seems like a relatively small drop in pressure. But scientist state that any reduction in systolic & diastolic numbers reduced the risk of damage to the body organs. Even a small decrease reduces the chance for a fatal heart attack or stroke.
It Should also be noted that Omega-3 oils can be found in other sources besides fish.
Top 10 sources of Omega-3:
- Flaxseed oil – Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 12059mg
- Flaxseed (the seed) – Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 8543mg
- Fish oil, salmon – Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 7828mg
- Chia seeds, dried – Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 7164mg
- Agutuk, fish with shortening (Alaska Native) – Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 6851mg
- Oil, bearded seal (Oogruk) (Alaska Native) – Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 6353mg
- Fish oil, Menhaden – Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 6236mg
- Fish, caviar, black and red, granular – Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 5388mg
- Fish oil, sardine – Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 5341mg
- Fish oil, cod liver – Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 4375mg