About 3 grams per day of omega-3 fatty acids may lower blood pressure, more research is needed

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According to a research review published today in the Journal of the American Heart Associationan open-access, peer-reviewed journal of the American Heart Association.

omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are commonly found in fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, trout, herring and oysters. Some people also take DHA and EPA combined in supplements. While some studies suggest that the consumption of Omega 3 fatty acids can lower blood pressure, the optimal dosage needed to lower blood pressure is unclear. The National Institutes of Health set an adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids for healthy people at 1.1-1.6 grams per day, depending on age and gender.

“According to our research, the average adult can have a slight reduction in blood pressure by consuming about 3 grams per day of these fatty acids,” said study author Xinzhi Li, MD, Ph.D. , assistant professor and program director of the school. of Pharmacy at Macau University of Science and Technology in Macau, China.

The researchers analyzed the results of 71 clinical trials from around the world published from 1987 to 2020. The studies examined the relationship between blood pressure and omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA (individually or combined) in people aged 18 years and over with or without high blood pressure or cholesterol disorders. There were nearly 5,000 participants combined, ranging in age from 22 to 86. Participants took dietary fatty acid sources and/or prescription supplements for an average of 10 weeks.

The analysis found:

  • Compared to adults who did not consume EPA and DHA, those who consumed between 2 and 3 grams per day of omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA combined (in supplements, food, or both) had a reduction systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number). ) blood pressure of 2 mm Hg on average.
  • Consuming more than 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids daily may have additional blood pressure lowering benefits in adults with high blood pressure or hyperlipidemia:
  • At 3g per day of omega-3, systolic blood pressure (SBP) decreased by an average of 4.5 mm Hg for people with hypertension and by about 2 mm Hg on average for those without.
  • At 5 g per day of omega-3s, SBP decreased by an average of nearly 4 mm Hg for those with hypertension and by less than 1 mm Hg on average for those without.
  • Similar differences were seen in people with high blood lipids and in those over 45.

About 4 to 5 ounces of Atlantic salmon provide 3 grams of omega 3 fatty acids. A typical fish oil supplement contains about 300 mg of omega-3 per tablet, but doses vary widely.

“Most studies have focused on fish oil supplements rather than omega-3 EPA and DHA consumed in food, suggesting that supplements may be an alternative for those who cannot eat fish regularly. fatty acids like salmon,” Li said. “Seaweed supplements with EPA and DHA fatty acids are also an option for people who don’t eat fish or other animal products.”

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced in June 2019 that he did not object to the use of certain health claims that the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA in food or food supplements may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and coronary disease. However, they noted that the evidence was inconclusive and highly inconsistent.

“Our study supports FDA guidelines that omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by lowering high blood pressure, especially in people already diagnosed with hypertension,” a- he declared. “However, while our study may add a layer of credible evidence, it does not meet the threshold to make an authorized health claim for omega-3s. fatty acids in compliance with FDA regulations.”

The limitations of the review include differences in how arterial pressure was measured, and whether the studies looked at omega-3 intake from supplements or diet, which may affect the strength of the conclusions.

The The American Heart Association recommends eat two servings (3-4 ounces cooked) of fish per week (especially oily fish such as salmon) as part of a heart-healthy diet.

Co-authors are Xin Zhang, Ph.D.; Jennifer A. Ritonja, Ph.D.; Na Zhou, Ph.D.; and Bingshu E. Chen, Ph.D. The authors’ disclosures are listed in the manuscript.


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More information:
Intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and blood pressure: a dose-response meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, Journal of the American Heart Association (2022). DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.121.025071

Quote: About 3 grams a day of omega-3 fatty acids may lower blood pressure, more research needed (2022, June 1) Retrieved June 1, 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-06- grams-day-omega-fatty-acids.html

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