Dietary protein level interacts with ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid deficiency to induce hypertension

Denovan P. Begg, Andrew J. Sinclair, Lauren A. Stahl, Manohar L. Garg, Mark Jois, Richard S. Weisinger

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25 Citations (Scopus)


Background Dietary ω-3 fatty acid deficiency can lead to hypertension in later life; however, hypertension is affected by numerous other dietary factors. We examined the effect of altering the dietary protein level on blood pressure in animals deficient or sufficient in-3 fatty acids. Methods Female rats were placed on one of four experimental diets 1 week prior to mating. Diets were either deficient (10% safflower oil; DEF) or sufficient (7% safflower oil, 3% flaxseed oil; SUF) in-3 fatty acids and contained 20 or 30% casein (DEF20, SUF20, DEF30, SUF30). Offspring were maintained on the maternal diet for the duration of the experiment. At 12, 18, 24, and 30 weeks, blood pressure was assessed by tail cuff plethysmography. Results At both 12 and 18 weeks of age, no differences in blood pressure were observed based on diet, however, by 24 weeks hypertension was evident in DEF30 animals; there were no blood pressure differences between the other groups. This hypertension in DEF30 group was increased at 30 weeks, with systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial pressure all elevated. Conclusions These Results indicate that the hypertension previously attributed to ω-3 fatty acid deficiency is dependent on additional dietary factors, including protein content. Furthermore, this study is the first to plot the establishment of ω-3 fatty acid deficiency hypertension over time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-128
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • ω
  • -3
  • Blood pressure
  • Dietary protein
  • Hypertension

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