Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation reduces blood pressure but not renal vasoconstrictor response to orthostatic stress in healthy older adults.
Physiol Rep. 2018 Apr ;6(8):e13674. PMID: 29673104
Christine M Clark
Older adults exhibit augmented renal vasoconstriction during orthostatic stress compared to young adults. Consumption of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found in fish oil (FO), modulates autonomic nerve activity. However, the effect of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid consumption on the renal vasoconstrictor response to orthostatic stress in young and older adults is unknown. Therefore, 10 young (25 ± 1 years; mean ± SEM) and 10 older (66 ± 2 years) healthy adults ingested 4 g FO daily for 12 weeks, and underwent graded lower body negative pressure (LBNP; -15 and -30 mmHg) pre- and post-FO supplementation. Renal blood flow velocity (RBFV; Doppler ultrasound), arterial blood pressure (BP; photoplethysmographic finger cuff), and heart rate (electrocardiogram) were recorded. Renal vascular resistance (RVR), an index of renal vasoconstriction, was calculated as mean BP/RBFV. All baseline cardiovascular values were similar between groups and visits, except diastolic BP was higher in the older group (P < 0.05). FO supplementation increased erythrocyte EPA and DHA content in both groups (P < 0.05). FO did not affect RVR or RBFV responses to LBNP in either group, but attenuated the mean BP response to LBNP in the older group (older -30 mmHg: pre-FO -4 ± 1 vs. post-FO 0 ± 1 mmHg, P < 0.05; young -30 mmHg: pre-FO -5 ± 1 vs. post-FO -5 ± 2 mmHg). In conclusion, FO supplementation attenuates the mean BP response but does not affect the renal vasoconstrictor response to orthostatic stress in older adults.