Consuming EPA and DHA omega-3s at doses as low as 0.7 grams per day may produce clinically meaningful reductions in systolic blood pressure, says a new study from the UK.
Data from 312 healthy men and women indicated that 0.7 grams of EPA+DHA per day for eight weeks was associated with a 5.2 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure, while a daily dose of 1.8 grams of EPA+DHA reduced systolic blood pressure by about 5.3 mmHg.
“Our main finding is that intakes of EPA+DHA, achievable through the consumption of 2–3 portions of oily fish per week or 2 fish oil softgels per day, reduced systolic blood pressure by 5 mm Hg in those with isolated systolic hypertension. Such a reduction in BP would be associated with an approximate 20% reduction in CVD risk in middle age,” wrote researchers from the Universities of East Anglia, Reading, Southampton, Glasgow, and Newcastle in the Journal of Nutrition.
Commenting independently on the study, Harry Rice, PhD, VP of regulatory & scientific affairs for the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED), told us: “Results from this study provide further evidence of the cardiovascular benefits of fish oil. While this study focused on systolic hypertension, last year a GOED-commissioned meta-analysis (70 Randomised Controlled Trials) found that EPA+DHA lowered blood pressure in untreated hypertensive subjects by a mean of 4.5 mm Hg for systolic blood pressure and a mean of 3.0 mm Hg for diastolic blood pressure.
”The GOED-commissioned meta-analysis formed the basis of a petition to the FDA for a qualified health claim for omega-3s and blood pressure filed by GOED in 2014. Adam Ismail, Executive Director of GOED, told us recently that the FDA is still reviewing the petition, and the organization is optimistic that the evidence is convincing that EPA and DHA help maintain a healthy blood pressure.
“It’s a very large body of evidence,” said Ismail. “We’ve meta-analyzed it, and when you meta-analyze it you see a very clear effect. Meta-analyses tend to drive the effect out of a study, it’s actually very positive that you see it there because it’s much more likely that there is a real benefit.”
Source: Journal of Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi:10.3945/jn.115.220475“Consumption of Fish Oil Providing Amounts of Eicosapentaenoic Acid and Docosahexaenoic Acid That Can Be Obtained from the Diet Reduces Blood Pressure in Adults with Systolic Hypertension: A Retrospective Analysis”
Authors: A.M. Minihane, et al.