Small Amount of DHA Omega-3 Fatty Acids Can Lower Blood Pressure – Algae Source Can Decrease Risk of Cardio Vascular Disease?

Small Amount of DHA Omega-3 Fatty Acids Can Lower Blood Pressure – Algae Source Can Decrease Risk of Cardio Vascular Disease?


(Best Syndication) British researchers say that a relatively small amount of omega-3 fatty acid can lower blood pressure. The King’s College team believes eating a non-fish based source of Omega-3 could also lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The omega-3 tested came from algae and not from fish. So what is the difference? Fish oil contains both Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) while algae omega-3 contains only DHA. Since there are vegetarians that do not eat fish, the researchers wanted to know if DHA alone could lower blood pressure.

Previous studies have shown that it took an excess of 2-3g of omega-3 fatty acids from fish to lower blood pressure. The British researcher found that just 0.7g DHA lowered diastolic blood pressure by 3mm of Hg. Diastolic pressure (also known as the resting or background pressure) and has been shown to be a strong risk factor for cardiovascular events.

Previous research has shown that just one or two portions of fish per week reduced the risk of heart disease. In addition Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, help prevent certain chronic diseases such as arthritis and plays a crucial role in brain function as well as normal growth and development. The new research found that small amounts of DHA markedly affected the composition of cell membranes and also lowered blood pressure.

“Our findings provide further evidence that relatively small amounts of this form of omega-3 helps promote a healthy heart,” said the study's lead author, Professor Tom Sanders, Head of King's College London's Nutritional Sciences Research Division. “There are long-term worries about the sustainability of fish stocks and our results suggest that a sustainable vegetable source synthesised by algae may be useful for preventing cardiovascular disease. Importantly, this form of DHA is acceptable to people who do not eat fish, for example vegetarians.”

According to the University of Maryland researchers, the body produces some DHA, but in amounts too small and irregular to ensure proper biochemical functioning. The Omega-3 must be eaten, and that is why it considered an “essential fatty acid”. Lack of DHA has been associated with depression and Alzheimer's disease in adults.

The researchers evaluated healthy middle-aged men and women before and after three months of supplementation with a placebo or a purified oil rich in the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The research is published in the April issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

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By Jeffrey Workman
Best Syndication Health Writer

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