Is Omega XL good for high blood pressure?
Some of you may have heard claims that Omega XL is an effective treatment for high blood pressure. This is a claim made several times by the manufacturer of Omega XL, Great Healthworks, as well as by Omega XL’s affiliates (including Larry King himself).
The claim certainly makes sense intuitively; omega 3 supplements like Omega XL are often prescribed to people with high blood pressure. Omega 3 fatty acids are known to support cardiovascular health. So Omega XL could, in theory, help with high blood pressure.
But does it really?
Let’s take a closer look at Omega XL and find out!
Omega 3s & Blood Pressure
Omega 3 fatty acids are vital nutrients. They are needed for dozens of essential bodily functions, which largely revolve around their status as a primary structural component of cell membranes. As vital constituents of all cell membranes, omega 3 fatty acids are intimately involved in immune system function, energy metabolism, cell signalling, brain function, and just about every other bodily function that involves cell membranes.
Research shows that omega 3 fatty acids also directly influence blood pressure.
Studies have conclusively proven that people who consume larger quantities of omega 3 fatty acids on a daily basis have lower blood pressure than baseline. This has led to most public health bodies adopting recommendations that people increase their consumption of omega 3s and decrease consumption of other fatty acids.
More interestingly, clinical trials have found that omega 3 supplements can actively lower blood pressure in the short term, particularly among untreated individuals with hypertension. A 2014 study published in the American Journal of Hypertension found that “available evidence from RCTs indicates that provision of EPA+DHA reduces systolic blood pressure, while provision of ≥2 grams reduces diastolic blood pressure”.
Recent studies have found a likely mechanism of action to explain this effect. A 2013 study found that “marine-derived long-chain omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA activate vascular Slo1 BK channels and lower blood pressure. The stimulatory action of these fatty acids has a rapid onset, is reversible, and is observed in cell-free patches. We thus suggest that the fatty acids directly bind to and stimulate Slo1 BK channels.”
In other words, omega 3s influence electrical channels in the brain which prevent arrhythmia, reduce blood pressure and lower heart rate.
So how does Omega XL compare to other omega 3 supplements? Is it good for high blood pressure?
Omega XL & High Blood Pressure
Is Omega XL good for high blood pressure? The answer is, not particularly. There is absolutely nothing special about Omega XL in terms of its ability to lower blood pressure. Any supplement that provides a large dose of EPA and DHA will lower blood pressure. Omega XL is not particularly good at treating high blood pressure!
Omega XL is simply a krill oil supplement. It is identical to every other krill oil supplement, except it is several times more expensive! And there is nothing special about krill oil; it is just another vehicle of omega 3, one as full of toxins and pollutants as cod liver oil (although less so as it is lower down the food chain).
It makes a big deal out of the fact that it comes from the “pristine waters” of New Zealand, but this is a meaningless marketing gimmick. No waters are “pristine”; oceanographers and marine biologists are finding pollutants in the waters of Antarctica, so nowhere is 100% clean!
This is why we strongly advise you use an omega 3 supplement derived from algae, ideally algae grown in controlled conditions. Our top pick for this Performance Lab Omega 3.