What effect do fish and fish oil have on blood pressure?

If you suffer from high blood pressure, you may benefit from eating more fish or taking fish oil supplements. Numerous studies demonstrate a link between increased consumption of omega-3 fatty acids and a reduction in blood pressure. There is also a clear indication these essential fatty acids help to prevent atherosclerosis and to lower triglyceride levels-where fat is stored in the blood. These effects are found to be dose-dependent but may not be observed in people with normal blood pressure.

However, there is a maximum impact fish oil supplementation may have on dropping blood pressure and to aid its effect, dietary adjustments should accompany supplementation. A study conducted in Australia with patients who combined fish oil and a diet with restrictions on caloric intake showed encouraging results. Blood pressure dropped, triglyceride levels lowered by 38 percent and good cholesterol (HDL) rose by 24 percent.

In a study conducted at the University of Oslo heart transplants patients were administered fish oil. Hypertension can be a complication of heart transplants and the results of this one study suggest it was an effective preventative measure.

Be aware that omega-3 fatty acids can also act to help thin the blood and if you are taking any blood thinning medications, you should not use fish oil supplementation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.