Heart health has many components, but maintaining healthy blood pressure within the healthy range is one of the most important. And there’s mounting research that omega-3 fatty acids can do just that.*
The latest evidence comes from a presentation by Dr. Mark Filipovic at the American Heart Association’s annual meeting in New Orleans last November, reporting on an observational study conducted among 2,036 young healthy adults (aged 25 to 41).
Study participants were divided into four groups based on the levels of omega-3 (EPA and DHA) in their blood. The top quarter — those with the highest omega-3 levels — had better success keeping their blood pressure within the optimal range than those in the bottom quarter.* The results held for both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.*   (Systolic is the top number, representing pressure in the blood vessels when the heart beats, and diastolic is the bottom number, representing pressure when the heart is at rest.) The researchers believe the effect may come from promoting blood vessel function.*
Other studies have also found omega-3 consumption has beneficial effects on blood pressure maintenance.* One of the most extensive was a 2014 meta-analysis of seventy randomized controlled studies, which found supplementing with omega-3s helped maintain both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.* The results applied widely across different groups of people.
Small changes in blood pressure can translate to big health benefits. And the amount of omega-3s needed to support healthy blood pressure is not daunting.* One study found that under one gram a day made a difference — less than what you get from a 3-ounce serving of salmon.* Other good dietary sources of omega-3s include tuna, walnuts, and flaxseeds. Many people find taking a fish oil or flaxseed supplement a convenient way to get a daily serving of omega-3s.
* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease.
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