FlaxseedHigh Blood PressureOmega-3 Fatty Acids

Effect of dietary omega-3 fatty acid on blood pressure: The INTERMAP study.

The INTERMAP study (INTERnational collaborative of MAcronutrients and blood Pressure) examines correlations between nutrients and worldwide patterns of blood pressure.

The abstract is obtuse, but Medscape has a decent review.

First, the details.

  • 4,680 adults living in 17 areas of Japan, China, the UK, and US
  • The amount of omega-3 fatty acids in their diet averaged 2 grams per day.
  • The researchers compared blood pressure in people consuming higher vs lower amounts of omega-3.

And, the results.

  • People in Japan had the highest intake of omega-3 from vegetable sources and fish.
  • After adjusting for age, gender, height, weight, exercise, alcohol consumption, salt intake, and other dietary factors, diets rich in omega-3 were associated with less than 1 mmHg lower systolic and diastolic blood pressures.

The bottom line?
The authors concluded that despite the small effect, it’s important. Studies show that a decrease of 2 mmHg of blood pressure reduces the average death rate from stroke by about 6% and from coronary heart disease by 4%.

They also found that omega-3 from nuts, seeds and vegetable oils — such as walnuts and flaxseed — had as much impact on blood pressure as omega-3 from fish.

6/10/07 19:40 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.