Saturday, June 09, 2007


This topic interest me a lot, firstly because it tells me that natural food substances can lower blood pressure (BP), and secondly, that lowering BP can prevent heart disease and strokes. I always knew that Omega 3 PFA (omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acid) prevent heart disease (the Japanese paradox), but I did not know that omega 3 PFA can lower BP.

The latest online version of Hypertension carries a very interesting study , the INTERMAP (international study on macro and micro-nutrients and blood pressure) study. This is a study of 4680 patients in 4 countries (China, Japan, UK and USA), males and females aged 40-59. The investigators were trying to find the association between nutriceuticals and blood pressure. In their first publication, they reported the relationship between omega 3 PFA, as found in fish and nuts and vegetables, and blood pressure. They reported that consuming 2gms of Omega 3 PFA daily, from fish (unsalted, cooked trout, mackerel, herring and sardines) and vegetable oils containing linolenic acids like walnuts, flaxseed, lanolar oils and soya bean oils can lower blood pressure by 1mmHg or more.

As we see so often in large epidermiological studies, a small even 1 mmHg fall in BP will translate to lager fall in the individual patients, which will translate to significant fall in heart disease and stokes. Could this be one reason why Japanese in Japan has a low incidence of heart disease despite their strong history of smoking. One must not forget that perhaps a diet rich in omega 3 PFA will also improve dislipidemia. I am at this time also studying the Japanese "JIKEI" study, which showed that the addition of Valsartan (an ARB) to standard anti-hypertensive therapy, lowered the incidence of heart disease and strokes, when compared to BP control with non-ARB anti-hypertensive therapy. Well, I suppose with this posting, I am trying to emphasize the importance of foods rich in omega 3 PFA. It is good for your BP, and so good for your heart and brain.

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