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Diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help lower blood pressure in young, healthy adults

14 November 2016  •  Author(s): American Heart Association

Healthy young people may be able to help prevent the onset of high blood pressure by eating diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids, according to a preliminary study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2016.

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Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats, mostly found in fish and some types of plant oils. Researchers studied 2,036 young, healthy adults by measuring the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood and recording their blood pressure measurements. They divided people into four groups, from the quarter with the highest amount of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood to the quarter with the lowest.

They found adults in the highest quarter had about 4 mm Hg lower systolic and 2 mm Hg lower diastolic blood pressure compared to those with the least omega-3 fatty acids in their blood.

In general, the higher the omega-3 fatty acids in the blood meant lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. This suggests promoting diets rich in omega-3 foods could become a strategy to prevent high blood pressure.

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