Effect of Eicosapentaenoic and Docosahexaenoic Acids on Blood Pressure and Hypertension: A Population-Based Intervention Trial From the Tromso Study
This dietary supplementation trial was conducted to analyze the benefit of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil in patients with high blood pressure (hypertension). The study included two groups of patients (156 patients in total) that either received 6 gr of 85% omega-3 fatty acids (EPA/DHA) daily or 6 gr of corn oil. There was a significant drop in blood pressure levels in the fish oil group but not in the corn oil group. The lowering of blood pressure increased in parallel to the concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet. The authors concluded that fish oil can reduce blood pressure.
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.
Bønaa KH, Bjerve KS, Straume B, Gram IT, Thelle D. Effect of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids on blood pressure in hypertension. A population-based intervention trial from the Tromsø study. N Engl J Med. 1990 Mar 22;322(12):795-801.