High blood pressure which is also known as hypertension, is a health condition which affects a lot of people today. Some claim that more men than women develop hypertension, which may not be entirely true, because everyone is effected by the stress filled lives we lead today.
Obesity is a another major factor that can induce high BP and with the obesity epidemic today, this is an illness that a large percentage of the population is dealing with.
While prescription medicines are normally used, more people are searching for natural remedies that can help with this illness. Studies have shown that omega 3 fatty acids can help various issues from heart disease to depression. In fact due to the research results, the AHA (American Heart Association) recommends supplementing your diet with essential fatty acids or fish oils to reduce your cardiovascular problems.
But do fish oils also help in reducing high blood pressure?
The success in using omega 3 fatty acids for treating heart conditions has led to various studies to test whether fish oil can also be used to reduce blood pressure. Since it has already been proven that fish oils help with many heart conditions, further studies were conducted to see their impact on blood pressure levels. The studies found that they did have a small -but significant- impact on this health problem.
And how do the fish oils do that? Omega 3 fatty acids are said to reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is known to lead to various health disorders like autoimmune diseases, arthritis and heart conditions.
The omega 3 helps in reducing, and sometimes preventing, this inflammation by reducing the production of inflammatory markers. This in turn translates to increased cardiovascular benefits that you get by adding omega 3 to your diet, namely – prevention of atherosclerosis, reduction of triglyceride levels and increase in the levels of your good cholesterol.
Further studies confirm that the DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) component in the omega 3 fish oils is the contributing factor in lowering high blood pressure. The report also shows that EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) did not make a significant impact on this disease. The study concludes that supplementing your diet with regular consumption of fish and / or omega 3 supplements can help lower your blood pressure. Since we would need to eat large amounts of fish to actually see a marked difference in our symptoms, experts suggest that omega 3 dietary supplements are the way to go.
The good part is that while omega 3 fish oils lower blood pressure levels in people with elevated blood pressure, they will not affect people who have normal levels of blood pressure.
Just adding omega 3 will, of course, not take care of the hypertension. A healthy lifestyle is required. In fact, the ideal solution to tackle this condition would be to incorporate a healthy regimen which includes exercising and a balanced diet for weigh reduction and some form of meditation to handle stress levels.
If you do decide to purchase omega 3 oils, be sure to check with your physician, because, fish oils also act as blood thinners and they bring about an increased risk of bleeding.
Also, bear in mind that not all fish oils are equal in quality. You will need to check that the supplements contain adequate amounts of DHA for them to actual benefit your hypertension symptoms.