How happy would your doctors be if your blood pressure dropped by about five points? If they’re like most docs… including mine… they’d be ecstatic.
After all, for many of us, “the talk” is a regular feature during our doctor’s visits. You know the one I mean. We talk about how high our blood pressure is. How to avoid hypertension. And whether medications might be required.
So a five-point drop would no doubt make them pleased as punch. And you might be able to deliver on that promise shortly.
In fact, new research names an all-natural therapy that can do PRECISELY that. In many cases, it can cut blood pressure by about five points.
And the only thing most people have to do to get this benefit is increase the amount of something they’re already taking. Honestly, it couldn’t be simpler.
Fatty acids can help reduce blood pressure
If you’re like many folks these days, you’re already taking a daily fish oil supplement. And if you’re like most people, you’re also not taking enough.
The doses in many of the products sold in stores are on the low side.
But new research shows how the oil’s benefits appear to grow with higher dosages. The study finds that if you step it up and take around double the “usual” dose, you could see a sizable drop in your blood pressure.
Overall, the researchers found that higher omega-3 fatty acid levels can reduce blood pressure by about 2 mm Hg.
Not super impressed? Well, hold on. That’s not the final word on these findings.
That two-point drop is the “overall” reduction, including participants who ALREADY have entirely normal blood pressure. Naturally, if your blood pressure is already normal, it won’t drop much.
But when you dig further into the data to look only at folks who have hypertension, the benefits more than doubled. The fish oil supplements led to those folks losing an average of 4.5 points.
And as anyone battling rising blood pressure can tell you, a few points could be all that separates you from watchful waiting or being strong-armed into taking a prescription drug.
How to make the most of fish oil
If you’re already taking fish oil and didn’t notice a change in your blood pressure, it could be the result of the dosage you’re taking.
As I mentioned, higher than typical doses were used in the new study. While most folks take 1 gram or less, the BP-lowering benefits appear to kick in at about 2-3 grams daily.
That’s double or more what most people take. And unless you’re on a very fish-heavy diet, it’s likely far more than you’ll be getting from your meals, too.
If you want to aim for those levels from food, which I always encourage, it takes about 4 ounces of salmon to get 3 grams of omega-3s. And I have to admit that’s just not realistic for most people on a daily basis.
You can mix it up with other seafood like oysters, mackerel, sardines, and caviar. And flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts are also good sources.
But if you’re still struggling to reach 2-3 grams, that leaves supplements. If you are interested in trying fish oil to lower your blood pressure be sure to talk to your doctor about the proper dosage for you and the best way to get it based on your diet, current medications, and any risk factors.
If your doctor isn’t very supplement-friendly, you might want to consult with an integrative medicine physician for some additional advice. Many are now available for telehealth visits.
A study last year about fish oil and heart rhythm issues left some folks confused and concerned. If you’re one of them, find out why many experts believe that report smelled awfully fishy.
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