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Using Omega-3 Fatty Acids for High Blood Pressure?

Naturopaths have been recommending omega-3 fatty acids for hypertension for a while now. Now, we have some new research on exactly what dose could make a difference in lowering blood pressure! A recently published research review compiled information from 71 clinical trials on over 5,000 people aged 22 to 86 years old. Participants received fatty acids from diet and/or prescription supplements over an average of 10 weeks.

The review indicates that people who consumed between 2 and 3 grams of combined DHA and EPA omega-3s had a decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure of about 2 mm Hg. Those diagnosed with hypertension experienced an average decrease of 4.5 mm Hg in their systolic (top number) blood pressure. Larger decreases were seen in participants over 45 years old and those with high blood lipids. Reviewers also noted that consuming more than 3 grams of omega-3s daily may lower blood pressure even further for adults with a higher risk of heart disease.

Photo by Ruslan Khmelevsky

This research increases the credibility of using omega-3 fatty acids to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease from high blood pressure. Traditional source of omega-3s includes fatty fish, which at 2 servings per week give the body the recommended amount of 3 grams per day. Vegetarian/vegan sources of omega-3s are also available, including walnuts, avocados, edamame beans, flax seeds and algae.

Those who are unable to get enough omega-3s from their diet may choose to take supplements. However, they should consult with their physician before starting, as there can be adverse effects in some cases. An example of this would be someone who is on blood-thinning medication; excessive omega-3 supplements could thin their blood further and should be monitored.

If you want to learn more about how to naturally improve your health issues, we invite you to book a free consultation with one of our licensed Naturopathic Doctors. Just call us at (415)-488-5831 or visit for more information.

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