Blood pressure- and lipid-lowering effect of mackerel and herring diet in patients with mild essential hypertension

Atherosclerosis. 1985 Aug;56(2):223-35. doi: 10.1016/0021-9150(85)90021-8.


Fourteen male patients with mild essential hypertension were put on a mackerel and herring diet within a prescribed isocaloric regimen in a cross-over design for 2 weeks. After mackerel diet eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA-C20:5, n-3) appeared more in cholesterol esters (1.7-11.0%), whereas docosahexaenoic acid (DHA-C22:6, n-3) was predominantly incorporated into serum triglycerides (1.0-8.3%). After herring diet, which contained half as much EPA and DHA, their increase was of minor degree. After mackerel diet serum triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and lecithin cholesterol acyl transferase (LCAT) activity were significantly decreased (by 28%, 9%, 14% and 14%, respectively), returning to the initial levels 3 months later. On the contrary, HDL cholesterol appeared significantly increased (by 12%). After herring diet the differences were not significant. Serum sodium was significantly lower (by 2%) at the end of the mackerel diet as compared to the initial values. On the other hand, uric acid in serum appeared transiently increased (by 24%) at the end of both dietary periods. A significant decrease (by 8%) in casual systolic blood pressure, measured in recumbent position, could be observed only at the end of the mackerel period. Moreover, the level of systolic and diastolic blood pressure before and during a standardized psychophysiological stress test was significantly lower after mackerel diet. Nevertheless, the increments after stress were similar. Plasma renin activity was increased (by 64%) after mackerel diet.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / metabolism
  • Fishes*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / blood
  • Hypertension / diet therapy*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Lipoproteins / blood
  • Male
  • Norepinephrine / blood
  • Phospholipids / blood
  • Renin / blood
  • Thromboxane B2 / blood
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Uric Acid / blood


  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Lipids
  • Lipoproteins
  • Phospholipids
  • Triglycerides
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Uric Acid
  • Thromboxane B2
  • Cholesterol
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid
  • Renin
  • Norepinephrine