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Can Purified Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Supplementation Act Blood Pressure Levels in Untreated Normal-High Blood Pressure Subjects with Hypertriglyceridemia?

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DOI: 10.4236/pp.2012.32031    4,802 Downloads   8,314 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Omega-3 (ω-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) from fish and fish oils appear to protect against coronary heart disease: their dietary intake is in fact inversely associated with cardiovascular disease morbidity/mortality in population studies. Recent evidence suggests that at least a part of this protective effect is mediated by a relatively small but significant decrease in blood pressure (BP) level. In fact, omega-3 PUFAs exhibit wide-ranging biological actions that include regulating both vasomotor tone and renal sodium excretion, partly competing with omega-6 PUFAs for common metabolic enzymes and thereby decreasing the production of vasoconstrictor rather than vasodilator and anti-inflammatory eicosanoids. PUFAs also reduce angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activity, angiotensin II formation. We retrospectively evaluated the long-term effect of a omega-3 PUFAs supplementation on the blood pressure level of 91 hypertriglyceridemic subjects with untreated normal-high blood pressure that were prescribed a 3 grams omega-3 PUFAs supplementation in order to improve their plasma lipid pattern. After 24 months of treatment, systolic blood pressure (SBP) meanly decreased by 2.6 +/- 2.5 mmHg (p = 0.001) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) by 1.4 +/- 3.1 mmHg (p < 0.001), while basal heart rate decreased by 4.1 +/- 4.6 bpm (p < 0.001). Both SBP and DBP reduction were significantly related to the baseline SBP (p < 0.001) and DBP (p < 0.001), respectively. Diastolic blood pressure change was also inversely related to the patient’s age (p = 0.004). No significant difference was perceived in the metabolic syndrome subgroup. In our retrospective study, highly purified omega-3 PUFAs long-term supplementation is associated with a significant reduction in SBP, DBP, and basal heart rate in hypertriglyceridemic patients with normal-high blood pressure. The main determinants of the omega-3 PUFAs anti-hypertensive effect appear to be the basal blood pressure level and age. Future research will clarify if omega-3 PUFAs supplementation could improve the antihypertensive action of specific blood pressure lowering drug classes and of statins.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

M. Leonarda De Rosa, "Can Purified Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Supplementation Act Blood Pressure Levels in Untreated Normal-High Blood Pressure Subjects with Hypertriglyceridemia?," Pharmacology & Pharmacy, Vol. 3 No. 2, 2012, pp. 234-239. doi: 10.4236/pp.2012.32031.

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