About 3 g/Day of Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Lower Blood Pressure

WEDNESDAY, June 8, 2022 — The optimal combined intake of omega-3 fatty acids associated with reductions in blood pressure (BP) appears to be between 2 and 3 g/day, according to a meta-analysis published in the June 7 issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Xin Zhang, Ph.D., from the Macau University of Science and Technology in China, and colleagues conducted a systematic review to examine the association between omega-3 fatty acids and BP. Data were included from 71 trials of 4,973 individuals with a combined docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) + eicosapentaenoic (EPA) acid dose of 2.8 g/day (interquartile range, 1.3 to 3.6 g/day).

The researchers identified a nonlinear association overall, and in most subgroups, the association was depicted as J-shaped dose-response curves. Moderate doses of 2 to 3 g/day were the optimal intake for both systolic and diastolic BP reductions (−2.61 and −1.64 mm Hg for 2 g/day and −2.61 and −1.80 mm Hg for 3 g/day). Stronger and approximately linear dose-response relations among hypertensive, hyperlipidemic, and older populations were seen in subgroup studies.

“Our study supports the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] guidance that EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by lowering high BP, especially among people already diagnosed with hypertension,” a coauthor said in a statement. “However, while our study may add a layer of credible evidence, it does not meet the threshold to make an authorized health claim for omega-3 fatty acids in compliance with FDA regulations.”

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