Maintaining healthy blood pressure: How much Omega-3 is enough?
September 26, 2016 at 19:23 by Barlean's
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It’s well-established that taking Omega-3 fatty acids helps maintain blood pressure levels already within a healthy range.*[i] Now, a new study shows that you can reap these blood pressure benefits at a much lower dosage than typically studied.[ii]
Blood pressure is measured in two numbers. The top number is the systolic reading, which measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats (in other words, when it’s working). The bottom number is the diastolic reading, which measures that same pressure between heartbeats (in other words, when your heart rests). Normal blood pressure is 120/80 or lower.
A 2014 meta-analysis, which analyzed the results of a whopping 70 well-designed human studies, found that supplementation with Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil supported both healthy systolic and diastolic blood pressure.*[iii] There was just one catch: many of the studies used dosages of 3 grams of Omega-3s per day, which is more than typically provided in one serving of an Omega-3 supplement.
The latest news is great.
The new study, conducted on 312 healthy men and women, found that supplementing for eight weeks with just 0.7 grams of EPA and DHA — in other words, a quarter of the dose typically studied — showed a significant blood pressure benefit.*[iv] Importantly, the trial was double-blind, which means that not only were the participants unaware of who was taking the Omega-3 supplements and who was taking the placebos — so were the researchers.
The study concluded that daily doses of EPA and DHA as low as 0.7 grams show “clinically meaningful” benefits for blood pressure and, when applied to the population as a whole, could support cardiovascular health on a national level.*
How does 0.7 grams translate to real life? 0.7g is the same as 700mg, and you can get about that much by eating oily fish like salmon or mackerel two to three times a week, or by taking just half a teaspoon of liquid fish oil - or two fish oil capsules - daily. Not a fish-oil fan? Two teaspoons of Barlean’s flavored Omega Swirls also provide that much Omega-3 EPA and DHA (or more), but with one big difference. Omega Swirls are made with a proprietary emulsification technology that breaks the oil down into tiny micro-droplets, which allows your body to absorb even more of the Omega-3s in each spoonful. That means you can get even more of the good stuff with every teaspoon.
*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.
[i] Geleijnse JM, et al. J Hypertens. 2002;20:1493-1499.
[ii] Minihane AM, et al. J Nutr. 2016 Mar;146(3):516-23.
[iii] Miller PE, Van Elswyk M, Alexander DD. Am J Hypertens. 2014 Jul;27(7):885-96.