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Health Sciences


Purpose: To determine the effects of 6wk of supplementation with fish oil (FO) on blood pressure and the morning salivary cortisol concentration in normotensive adults.

Methods: Testing was performed following an overnight fast. Subjects (n=40; 35+/-13y, mean+/-SD) rested supine for 40 min, at which time blood pressure and heart rate were measured. Saliva was collected and analyzed for cortisol. Subjects were then randomly assigned to either: 4g/d of Safflower Oil (SO); pr 4g/d of FO supplying 1,600mg/d eicosapentaenoic acid and 800mg/d docosahexaenoic acid. Testing was repeated following 6wk treatment.

Results: Compared to SO, there was a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure with FO (SO= 1.3+/-5.8 mmHg; FO= -6.8+/-10.2 mmHg; p=0.004), a significant reduction in pulse pressure with FO (SO= 0.2+/-7.8 mmHg; FO= -6.4+/-8.8 mmHg; p=0.02), and a tendency for a decrease in mean arterial pressure (SO= 1.2+/-5.3 mmHg; FO= -2.5+/-7.3 mmHg; p=0.08). There was a tendency for salivary cortisol to decrease with FO (SO= 0.005+/-0.129 µg/dL; FO= -0.068+/-0.148 µg/dL; p=0.072), however, this change was not significant;y correlated with the change in systolic blood pressure (r=0.021, p=0.929).

Conclusion: 6wk of supplementation with FO significantly decreases systolic blood pressure in normotensive adults and this change was not significantly correlated with a reduction in salivary cortisol.



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