Hypertension A double-blind, placebo-controlled study with a crossover design found that the combination of EPO and fish oils significantly lowered blood pressure in 25 non-obese black patients with mild-moderate uncomplicated essential hypertension after 8-12 weeks compared with placebo (sunflower and linseed oil) (Venter et al 1988). Other smaller studies have found a similar beneficial effect in hypertensive patients. A combination of 4 g GLA and DHA daily for 6 weeks reduced blood pressure in nine mildly hypertensive patients compared with placebo (sunflower oil) (Deferne & Leeds 1992).
EPO (1.3 g/day) significantly lowered blood pressure in mildly hypertensive but otherwise healthy subjects in a small placebo-controlled, double-blind short-term trial. EPO treatment led to a group reduction of systolic pressure (8.98 mmHg) and diastolic pressure (12.25 mmHg). The authors suggest that the effect may be mediated via GLA's effects on PG metabolism (Leeds et al 1990).
A study conducted in 2001 in mice demonstrated that consumption of a GLA-based diet significantly reduced aortic vessel wall medial layer thickness and reduced atherosclerotic lesion size. These results were reported by the researchers to indicate that dietary GLA can suppress smooth muscle cell proliferation in vivo and potentially retard the development of athersclerotic plaques. Human trials are now required to confirm this effect (Fan et al 2001).
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