Long-term effect of mackerel diet on blood pressure, serum lipids and thromboxane formation in patients with mild essential hypertension

Atherosclerosis. 1986 Dec;62(3):259-65. doi: 10.1016/0021-9150(86)90100-0.


Twelve male patients with mild essential hypertension were put on a diet supplemented with 2 cans of mackerel/day (= 2.2 g daily of eicosapentaenoic acid, EPA, C20:5 n-3 and 2.8 g daily of docosahexaenoic acid, DHA, C22:6 n-3) for 2 weeks within an isocaloric regimen and then with 3 cans/week (= 3.3 g/week, equivalent to 0.47 g daily of EPA and 4.2 g/week, equivalent to 0.69 g daily of DHA) for 8 months with a subsequent period of 2 months on normal diet. Eleven male hypertensives matched for age, body weight index, blood pressure and serum lipids with no change in their nutritional habits served as controls. After the first dietary period (2 weeks) a significant decrease of serum triglycerides (TG), total and LDL-cholesterol, blood pressure and thromboxane B2 (TxB2) was found, whereas HDL cholesterol and potassium in erythrocytes were significantly increased. During the second dietary period (8 months) providing the lower dose of EPA, serum lipids and the other biochemical parameters returned to the initial values. Blood pressure, however, remained significantly lower and rose to the basal levels only after the third period (2 months) on normal diet. In the control group no alterations could be seen. The data suggest a dose-related differential effect of dietary EPA on serum lipids, lipoproteins, TxB2 and blood pressure in subjects with mild hypertension.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / blood
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / blood
  • Fishes*
  • Food Preservation*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / blood
  • Hypertension / diet therapy
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Male
  • Thromboxane B2 / biosynthesis*
  • Time Factors
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Lipids
  • Triglycerides
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Thromboxane B2
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid