Omega-3 fatty acids reduced heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) in some studies, but dose-response studies are rare, and little is known about underlying mechanisms.

We examined effects of 0.85 g/day eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) + docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (low dose) and 3.4 g/day EPA + DHA (high dose) on HR and systemic hemodynamics during rest, speech, and foot cold pressor tasks.

This was a dose-response, placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized, crossover trial (8-week treatment, 6-week washout) in 26 adults.

Throughout the testing sessions, HR was reduced in a dose-dependent manner. The high dose reduced BP and stroke volume and increased pre-ejection period. Reductions in BP were associated with increases in erythrocyte omega-3 fatty acids.

High-dose long-chain omega-3 fatty acids can reduce BP and HR, at rest and during stress. These findings suggest that at-risk populations may achieve benefits with increased omega-3 intake.

PMID: 22865498

See following website for full manuscript.