Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Why fish is better than supplements: Omega-3s from fish vs. fish oil pills better at maintaining blood pressure in mouse model

Date:
March 5, 2013
Source:
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Summary:
Researchers show how fish oils help lower blood pressure via vasodilation at ion channels. In vascular smooth muscle cells, such as those that line blood vessels, ion channels that span the outer membrane of a cell to let such ions as sodium, calcium, and potassium in and out, are critical to maintaining proper vessel pressure.

Graphic representation of a potassium transmembrane ion channel.
Credit: Toshinori Hoshi, PhD. Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish may have diverse health-promoting effects, potentially protecting the immune, nervous, and cardiovascular systems.

Related Articles


But how the health effects of one such fatty acid -- docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) -- works remains unclear, in part because its molecular signaling pathways are only now being understood.

Toshinori Hoshi, PhD, professor of Physiology, at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues showed, in two papers out this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, how fish oils help lower blood pressure via vasodilation at ion channels. In vascular smooth muscle cells, such as those that line blood vessels, ion channels that span the outer membrane of a cell to let such ions as sodium, calcium, and potassium in and out, are critical to maintaining proper vessel pressure.

The researchers found that DHA rapidly and reversibly activates these channels by increasing currents by up to 20 fold. DHA lowers blood pressure in anesthetized wild type mice but not in mice genetically engineered without a specific ion channel subunit.

In comparison, the team found that a dietary supplement, DHA ethyl ester, found in most fish oil pills fails to activate the same channels, and even antagonizes the positive effect of DHA from natural sources, on the cells. The DHA ethyl ester seems to compete with the natural form of DHA for binding sites on the ion channel.

The team concluded that these channels have receptors for long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, and that DHA -- unlike its ethyl ester cousin -- activate the channels and lower blood pressure.

The findings have practical implications for the use of omega-3 fatty acids as nutraceuticals for the general public and also for critically ill patients who may receive omega-3-enriched formulas as part of their nutrition.

Coauthor Michael Bauer from Jena University Hospital in Germany, who studies sepsis in a clinical setting, says the findings may encourage physicians to have a closer look at the specific formulations given to sepsis patients as they may contain either the free omega-3 acid or the ester.

The findings also underscore the importance of obtaining omega-3 fatty acids from natural food sources such as oily fish.

The study was supported, in part, by the National Institutes of Health (R01GM057654), the German Research Foundation, and Natural Science Foundation of China.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. T. Hoshi, B. Wissuwa, Y. Tian, N. Tajima, R. Xu, M. Bauer, S. H. Heinemann, S. Hou. Omega-3 fatty acids lower blood pressure by directly activating large-conductance Ca2 -dependent K channels. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1221997110
  2. T. Hoshi, Y. Tian, R. Xu, S. H. Heinemann, S. Hou. Mechanism of the modulation of BK potassium channel complexes with different auxiliary subunit compositions by the omega-3 fatty acid DHA. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1222003110

Cite This Page:

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "Why fish is better than supplements: Omega-3s from fish vs. fish oil pills better at maintaining blood pressure in mouse model." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305154531.htm>.
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. (2013, March 5). Why fish is better than supplements: Omega-3s from fish vs. fish oil pills better at maintaining blood pressure in mouse model. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305154531.htm
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "Why fish is better than supplements: Omega-3s from fish vs. fish oil pills better at maintaining blood pressure in mouse model." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305154531.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

More Coverage


Why Fish Is So Good for You

Mar. 5, 2013 — Scientists have decoded the antihypertensive impact of omega-3 fatty acids. They analyzed the impact of omega-3 fatty acids at a systemic level and they also described the underlying molecular ... read more

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins