Effects of marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids on systemic hemodynamics at rest and during stress: A dose-response study

Ann C. Skulas-Ray, Penny M. Kris-Etherton, William Harris, Sheila G. West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Background: 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. Purpose: 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. Methods: This was a dose-response, placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized, crossover trial (8-week treatment, 6-week washout) in 26 adults. Results: 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. Conclusions: 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. The trial was registered on ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT00504309).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-308
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes



  • Acute stress
  • Fish
  • Hemodynamics
  • Omega-3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Medicine(all)

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