High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a serious disorder that can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and a host of other illnesses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)1, about one in three American adults – an estimated 68 million people – have high blood pressure, and less than half of this population has this condition under control.
- High blood pressure is a silent disease
- Untreated hypertension can lead to serious diseases
- Fish oil is a natural remedy for hypertension
- DHA and EPA in fish oil can lower high blood pressure
The human body needs oxygen to survive. It nourishes our cells, tissues and organs. Oxygen is transported through the body by blood. Each time our heart beats, the pressure it creates pushes blood through the arteries and veins. This blood pressure rises and falls during the day. When blood pressure stays elevated over a long period of time, medical professionals say the ensuing condition is called high blood pressure or hypertension.2
High blood pressure can be deadly because it makes the heart work too hard and contributes to atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.
Although the exact cause of high blood pressure is unknown, doctors say several factors may contribute to high blood pressure: being overweight, smoking, consuming too much salt, not getting sufficient exercise, being in a constant state of stress, being middle age and older, having chronic kidney disease and having a family history of high blood pressure.
Could you be at risk for developing high blood pressure? The first step is knowing what your blood pressure level is. Blood pressure is measured as two forces: systolic and diastolic. Systolic refers to blood pressure when the heart beats while pumping blood, and diastolic refers to blood pressure when the heart is at rest between beats. Your medical doctor can measure your levels in his or her office with a blood pressure cuff and let you know if your range is normal or not.
The following numbers from the CDC3 represent normal, at risk and high blood pressure levels:
|Normal||At risk (Prehypertension)||High|
|Systolic: less than 120 mm Hg||Systolic: 120-139 mm Hg||Systolic: 140 mm Hg or higher|
|Diastolic: less than 80 mm Hg||Diastolic: 80-89 mm Hg|
If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, your doctor may advise you to incorporate immediate lifestyle changes such as losing weight if you are obese, eating more fiber, fruits and vegetables and cutting back on junk and fried foods, reducing your salt intake and moderating the amount of alcoholic drinks you consume. He or she may also prescribe alpha-blockers, beta-blockers or other drugs to treat high blood pressure.
Before you begin a course of prescription medication, you may want to consider fish oil as a natural remedy for high blood pressure. According to WebMD4, fish oil supplements contain the essential omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which are considered highly beneficial for preventing and managing heart disease.
Studies have shown that the fatty acids DHA and EPA can help lower blood pressure, significantly decrease high levels of triglycerides in the blood stream, slow the development of plague in the arteries and reduce the likelihood of heart attack and stroke. To maintain cardiovascular fitness, the American Heart Association5 recommends eating two servings of fatty fish per week, which includes salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel, or increasing omega-3 fatty acid consumption through quality supplements.
According to a study performed by the Department of Internal Medicine6, Aging and Kidney Diseases at the University of Bologna in Italy, 111 participants with high triglyceride levels were tested to see if omega-3 fatty acids would lower their high blood pressure levels. During a 12-month trial, the subjects with untreated normal-high blood pressure were prescribed two grams of omega-3 fatty acids to improve their lipid profile.
At the conclusion of the study, it was determined that highly purified omega-3 supplements, taken over a long period of time, are associated with a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure.
OmegaMx is a safe and effective high quality fish oil supplement containing maximum strength omega-3 fatty acids.
A Harvard University study corroborates the findings of the University of Bologna on patients with untreated high blood pressure. The Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health performed trials on 1,356 subjects to determine if the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil were effective in lowering blood pressure.
Study participants were given three grams per day and higher of omega-3s. Harvard researchers7 concluded that both eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid were significantly related to lowered blood pressure response.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that consumption of up to three grams of omega-3 fatty acids from fish per day is generally regarded as safe (GRAS). You should consult your primary care doctor if your intake greatly exceeds that amount.
Having high blood pressure doesn’t have to diminish your quality of life. Don’t become a prisoner to your condition, especially with the amount of available research that shows natural remedies such as fish oil can effectively lower high blood pressure. By eating right, getting regular exercise, keeping stress levels under control and supplementing your balanced diet with fish oil capsules, you can take charge of your health. That good news is hard to beat!