The antihypertensive effects of fish oil. A controlled study of polyunsaturated fatty acid supplements in essential hypertension.
This study investigated whether high doses of fish oil could reduce blood pressure. 32 men with higher blood pressure levels (mild hypertension) were placed in groups of 8 receiving either 10 ml or 50 ml of fish oil, 50 ml of safflower oil or 50 ml of a mixture of oils that approximated the fat in the American diet. The study found that systolic and diastolic blood pressure fell by 6.5 mm Hg and 4.4 mm Hg respectively in men who received fish oil. Thus, high doses of fish oil were found to reduce blood pressure in patients with hypertension. Further details can be found in the study.
The force with which blood is pressed against blood vessel walls represents the measurable blood pressure. The level of our blood pressure is directly dependent on various factors, in particular on the pumping force of the heart, the blood volume, and the elasticity of the blood vessels. Hypertension is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated. It can be caused by a too strong pumping function of the heart – which generally leads to an increased upper (systolic) blood pressure value. More frequently, the lower (diastolic) blood pressure value is elevated, a condition that is generally caused by a “spasm” (contraction) of the (smooth) muscle cells of the artery walls, causing the narrowing of the blood vessel diameter and the rise of the (diastolic) pressure. The most frequent cause of this artery spasm is a chronic deficiency of micronutrients in billions of artery wall cells. If high blood pressure conditions persist for a long time, they can lead to damage in other organs, including strokes, coronary heart disease, failure of the kidneys, eyes and other organs.
Knapp HR, FitzGerald GA. The antihypertensive effects of fish oil. A controlled study of polyunsaturated fatty acid supplements in essential hypertension. N Engl J Med. 1989 Apr 20;320(16):1037-43.