About 3 Grams a Day of Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Lower Blood Pressure

The US National Institutes of Health recommends that an adequate daily amount of omega-3 fatty acids is between 1.1 and 1.6 grams for adults, depending on factors such as age and gender. However, new research published in The Journal of the American Heart Association suggests the optimal daily dose for lowering blood pressure is 3 grams of omega-3s.

Overall, researchers reviewed 71 clinical trials published globally from 1987 to 2020, including nearly 5,000 participants ranging in age from 22 to 86 years. Participants took dietary and/or prescription supplement sources of fatty acids for an average of 10 weeks.

Among the key findings are:
• people who consumed between 2 and 3 grams daily of combined DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids, demonstrated reduced systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure by an average of about 2 mm Hg.
• systolic blood pressure decreased by an average of 4.5 mm Hg for those with hypertension and about 2 mm Hg on average for those without.

The reviewers noted that consuming more than 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids daily may have additional blood pressure-lowering benefits for adults at a higher risk of heart disease. For example, they said that with 5 grams a day of omega-3s, systolic blood pressure declined an average of nearly 4 mm Hg for those with hypertension and less than 1 mm Hg on average for those without. Larger declines in blood pressure were also seen in people with high blood lipids and among those older than age 45.

Three grams per day was established as the optimal dose after researchers examined the relationship between blood pressure and the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA (either individually or combined) in people aged 18 and older with or without high blood pressure or cholesterol disorders.

The researchers say the omegas can be from supplements or fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, trout, herring, and oysters. However, avocado, nuts (walnuts), and seeds (flax seeds) are also good choices.

The researchers said the study aligns with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that there is some credible evidence that EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by lowering high blood pressure, especially among people already diagnosed with hypertension. More related to this topic you may find here.

However, they noted that although their study adds a layer of evidence in the case for omegas lowering blood pressure, it does not meet the threshold to make an authorized health claim for omega-3 fatty acids in compliance with FDA regulations.

When it comes to tablets and capsules, supplements should only be consumed if you can’t get an adequate intake of nutrients to meet the body’s demands. There is a nutrient deficiency with symptoms present affecting one’s health, as well as if an individual has a malabsorptive disorder.

The risk for taking 3g of omega-3 supplementation is low for the general population; however, caution should be paid if someone is on medications to thin blood.