PRNewswire – A brand name omega-3 supplement – Martek’s life’sDHA™ – successfully reduces diastolic blood pressure in middle-aged subjects, according to an independent study published in the April 2007 issue of the Journal of Nutrition. The study on this pure DHA supplement (no EPA), conducted at King’s College, London, reported a significant reduction in diastolic blood pressure. The investigators noted that this reduction is likely to be of clinical significance with regard to risk of future vascular events. This is the first study to assess the effects on blood pressure of intakes of DHA alone at less than 1.0 g per day. The study was neither funded nor sponsored by Martek Biosciences, but used Martek’s life’sDHA™ as its vegetarian algal DHA source.

The study involved 38 middle-aged subjects with an average age of 49 and an average blood pressure of 122/79 mmHg. Subjects randomly received either a 0.7 g per day of DHA or placebo for three months. Diastolic blood pressure decreased by an average of 3.3 mmHg. No significant changes occurred in systolic blood pressure. The daily DHA supplement increased DHA levels in red blood cells (erythrocytes) by 58 percent.

Martek’s life’sDHA™ is a vegetarian form of DHA omega-3, a long chain omega-3 fatty acid that serves as a primary building block for the brain and the eye and supports brain, eye and cardiovascular health throughout life. There is a large and growing body of scientific evidence demonstrating that people of all ages, from infants to aging adults, benefit from an adequate supply of DHA omega-3 in the diet. Scientific reviews have noted the importance of DHA omega-3 in proper brain and eye development and function, and there are clinical studies underway to evaluate its role in decreasing the prevalence of certain neurological disorders. Yet despite its importance, Americans have among the lowest dietary intakes of DHA omega-3 in the world.

Martek’s life’sDHA™ is unique in the market because it is derived from a sustainable and vegetarian source. Made from microalgae under tightly controlled manufacturing conditions, Martek’s DHA has been used in the supplement known as Neuromins, and is a major source of DHA for infant formulas. Microalgae are the only vegetarian source of DHA omega-3, a key omega-3 for brain and eye development and function.

Consumers are often unaware of the very different nutritional effects of the two primary long-chain omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, both of which may contribute to cardiovascular health in different ways. EPA is thought to be useful in mood disorders and joint inflammation, but DHA seems to be of benefit to retinal health and blood pressure. Search for other stories at the iHealthBulletin News weblog for more information on omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil, and health.

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