Can fish oil lower blood pressure?

High blood pressure, or what is otherwise known as hypertension, effects a significant proportion of our population, particularly, though not confined to, men. Today we want to examine whether there is an Omega 3 blood pressure link.

For people with coronary heart disease the American Heart Association recommends a minimum intake of Omega 3 essential fatty acids as there is now significant evidence that a higher intake of Omega3 fats found in fish oil reduces the incidence of coronary heart disease. This includes helping prevent heart disease in people who do not have it.

Fish Oil and Blood Pressure Blood pressure also, it seems, responds to an increase in the Omega 3 fats.

There have been studies that have asked the question can you lower blood pressure with fish oil. For instance the American Heart Association refers a study conducted on 120 men who were given a 12 week dietary intervention using fish oil, fish or a combination. There were 5 groups that were assigned to take various combinations of fish oil capsules or fish, or both, or a placebo.

The conclusion of the study was that there was a bigger fall in systolic and diastolic blood pressure in subjects who were allocated fish or fish oil compared to the control group.

Other studies also suggest a link between fish oil and lowering blood pressure although the studies suggest that DHA may have a more beneficial effect on lowering blood pressure than EPA. This study concluded that EPA had no significant effect on blood pressure but that DHA reduced blood pressure in mildly hyperlipidemic men. The conclusion was that it is DHA which is responsible for the blood pressure lowering effects found from increasing Omega 3 intake.

A further study studied the effects of Omega 3 on ambulatory BP in hypertensive men who were already overweight. As obesity contributes to hypertension (as well as cardiovascular disease) it is clearly a risk factor for many people. The conclusion of the study was that regular consumption of fish and Omega 3 fatty acids can lower blood pressure and reduce cardiovascular risk in overweight subjects.

And in particular a significant result of the study was that the requirements of overweight people for taking antihypertensive drugs would be lowered “substantially” by increasing the intake of Omega 3 fatty acids together with a weight loss regime in overweight hypertensives who were already medicating for hypertension.

These studies give us encouraging results about the abilities of Omega 3 fatty acids to lower blood pressure and demonstrate a clear link between blood pressure fish and Omega 3 essential fatty acid intake. Anyone who suffers from high blood pressure should take these results seriously.

Other than lowering blood pressure there are powerful reasons to take daily fish oil capsules. As previously mentioned the American Heart Association clearly indicates a minimum requirement for Omega3 intake for cardiovascular health, and there are also a range of other health conditions would benefit from an increase in intake of essential fatty acids.

Studies suggest that over 90 percent of the US population, including children, are deficient in their dietary intake of Omega3 fats and for this reason almost all of us should be increasing our intake of the Omega 3 fats. Blood pressure reduction, where needed, and good cardiovascular health are just the start of the health benefits that follow from an adequate intake of essential fatty acids.

So it is clear, if you suffer from hypertension, that there are good reasons to increase your intake of fish oil. Blood pressure results should be positive and you also have a wide range of other health reasons to supplement your diet with daily fish oil capsules.

And of course lowering your blood pressure is not just about taking more Omega 3 essential fatty acids in your diet, there’s a whole host of things you can do to help lower your blood pressure. And of course many of these things you should do for your overall health as well.

Losing weight and stopping smoking are 2 of the most important things that you can do, and of course it’s no coincidence that both these are also extremely beneficial to your health in a wide range of other areas. Getting more exercise is also extremely important, and again it’s certainly no coincidence that this is also a big part of improving your health and other ways.

Ultimately it comes down to your choice. Whilst high blood pressure has some genetic components there are some clear lifestyle choices that you can make to help reduce your blood pressure, and to benefit your health generally. However making those choices isn’t necessarily easy. But then what’s more important to you than your health?

To find out more about some of the things you can do here’s a link to an excellent article about lowering blood pressure.

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