Fish oil is a popular choice among people looking to supplement their diets with a reliable source of healthy fats. Fish oil can provide several potential benefits, from supporting healthy joints to helping you maintain healthy blood pressure. This could be good news for many, as according to the CDC, 47% of adults in the United States experience high blood pressure, also known as hypertension.
However, as with any supplement, it is important to consider how it interacts with your lifestyle, including medications you may be taking. A large number of adults take blood pressure medication to help support a healthy blood pressure, which raises the question — what if you take both? If you are considering taking fish oil with blood pressure medication, you may want to read this article to learn more.
Why Take Fish Oil?
Fish oil has a long list of potential benefits, which is why many people choose to incorporate a fish oil supplement into their daily routine. The main reason for the many benefits of fish oil is that it is rich in key omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids that play several important roles in the body. They make up a vital part of cell membranes and influence how cells interact with each other, helping to regulate critical functions in the body. These fatty acids also provide the body with a main source of energy.
Fish oil is a popular fatty acid supplement because it contains the two most essential and beneficial omega-3 fatty acids — docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). These two omega-3s, also called marine omega-3s, are only found in select foods, with fatty fish like mackerel, salmon, sardines, and tuna, being the most popular source.
Fish oil is one of only a few supplements that provides both EPA and DHA. Thanks to the high omega-3 content in this supplement, over-the-counter fish oil dietary supplements can provide some of the following potential benefits.
- Support your cardiovascular and heart health
- Promote balanced triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels
- Help maintain healthy joints
- Promote healthy cognitive function
- Support healthy development during childhood
- Promote healthy function of your eyes
How Does Fish Oil Influence Your Blood Pressure?
Although fish oil has a wide range of benefits, many people take it for its potential to support healthy blood pressure. So how does fish oil influence your blood pressure? Does it affect your blood pressure at all?
Some research has demonstrated that fish oil can have a direct impact on your blood pressure — and taking steady amounts of both EPA and DHA may help support both healthy diastolic blood pressure and systolic blood pressure.
Some experts even recommend making omega-3s a consistent part of your diet for the sake of supporting healthy blood pressure. In studies, fish oil and other sources of omega-3s have demonstrated the potential to support healthy blood pressure. However, experts emphasize that more research is needed.
Regardless, only your doctor will be able to tell you what is best for you. If you are considering adding an omega-3 supplement to your routine, talk to your healthcare provider for personalized medical advice.
Even if you are considering taking fish oil for benefits unrelated to your blood pressure, you should still be aware of the supplement’s potential effects on your blood pressure. As a result, it’s important to consider what taking fish oil can mean when taking blood pressure medication.
How Do Blood Pressure Medications Work?
Blood pressure medications are formulated to help you maintain or achieve healthy blood pressure. Medication can help you maintain normal levels through several methods, like:
- Causing your body to remove water, bringing your water and salt levels into balance
- Reducing the force of your heartbeat
- Reducing tension in your blood vessels
- Influencing nerve activity to prevent restricting your blood vessels
Some medications work better than others for some people, while other people may need to take more than one blood pressure medicine.
From a medical perspective, blood pressure medications can help reduce risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease, heart disease, heart attack, or stroke.
Blood pressure medications like beta blockers or calcium channel blockers often have few side effects. However, they can lead to mild side effects like dizziness, headaches, swelling in your legs, or stomach issues.
Is It Okay To Take Fish Oil With Blood Pressure Medication?
Blood pressure is a delicate balance — we don't want it to be too high (which increases our risk of cardiovascular problems) or too low (which can lead to lightheadedness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and even fainting). For this reason, if you are taking fish oil supplements or plan to, communicating with your doctor is essential.
If you take blood pressure medication, fish oil does not have to be off the table, depending on how your body reacts to the supplement. Many doctors recognize the value of omega-3 fats for heart health, and will ask you to stay consistent with your supplement routine so that they can prescribe a dose of blood pressure medication which works alongside the omega-3 supplement to bring your blood pressure to the right level for your body.
Some doctors may be cautious about allowing patients to take fish oil along with blood thinner medications. This is because there were two research studies in the past showing that in animals given very high doses of fish oil, their blood's ability to clot normally was reduced. Other doctors recognize that the amounts in these experiments was much higher than a daily dose of omega-3, so again, communication with your doctor and consistency in your supplement routine are vital.
Higher-than-suggested servings of omega-3 fatty acids can also impact your blood sugar levels. If you have a medical condition that affects your blood glucose and general wellness, you should discuss other supplement options with your doctor. This is especially true if you’re currently taking or have recently taken any prescription drugs.
How Can You Maintain a Healthy Blood Pressure?
A normal blood pressure level is generally at or below 120/80 mmHg. Everyone may have different needs to maintain healthy blood pressure, but there are several steps that you can take to do so. A few ways to support a healthy blood pressure include:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Exercising regularly
- Making healthier dietary choices, like eating more fresh fruits and vegetables
- Quitting smoking
It’s important to remember that when aiming to maintain healthy blood pressure, you should strive to maintain holistic health. After all, there is no one solution — it is a combination of factors that can really make a difference.
Is Fish Oil Your Only Option?
If you are looking for additional ways to support your blood pressure, or are interested in the other benefits of taking omega-3 fatty acids, you have other options besides fish oil. Omega-3-rich options include fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and anchovies, a krill oil supplement, flaxseed oil, or an algae supplement like iwi life’s omega-3 supplement.
Although it is probably the least well-known of the options, algae is a great choice for anyone, containing both EPA and DHA omega-3s. For one, it offers several benefits over fish, leaving you with no fishy aftertaste or fishy burps, and it is a safe choice for anyone with a fish or shellfish allergy (or anyone who just doesn’t like fish).
Secondly, it is a more efficient source — your body absorbs omega-3s from algae better than from fish oil. With better absorption, you don’t need to take as much to see some of the same benefits.
Incorporate Omega-3s into Your Diet
Although fish oil has many advertised benefits, you should still be cautious about including this supplement in your daily routine if you are taking blood pressure medication. Consult your doctor to find out if omega-3 fatty acids are a good choice for you. From supporting your cardiovascular health to helping you maintain healthy joints, omega-3s can provide a range of benefits.
With iwi life, you can get your recommended daily amount of omega-3s in one easy soft gel. iwi life’s algae-based omega-3 supplements provide both DHA and EPA fatty acids. To see the many benefits of algae-sourced omega-3 fatty acids for yourself, explore iwi life’s complete family of omega-3 supplements.