Volume 56 (2007) Issue 7 Pages 347-360
We investigated the antihypertensive effect and safety of α-linolenic acid (ALA) in human subjects. In Experiment 1, subjects with high-normal blood pressure and mild hypertension ingested bread containing 14 g of common blended oil (control oil) or ALA-enriched oil for 12 weeks. The test oil contained 2.6g/14 g of ALA. The subjects ingested strictly controlled meals during the study period. Systolic blood pressure was significantly lower in the ALA group than in the control group after ingestion of the test diet for 4, 8 and 12 weeks. Diastolic blood pressure was significantly lower in the ALA group than in the control group after ingestion of the test diet for 12 weeks. In Experiment 2, we evaluated the safety of high intake of ALA (7.8g/d), particularly its effects on oxidation in the body and blood coagulation. Normotensive, high-normotensive and mildly hypertensive subjects ate bread that contained 42 g of the control oil or the test oil for 4 weeks. No significant difference was noted in the lipid peroxide level, high-sensitive C-reactive protein level, plasma prothrombin time or activated partial thromboplastin time between the two groups. No abnormal changes were noted after test diet ingestion on blood test or urinalysis, and no adverse event considered to have been induced by the test oil was observed in Experiment 1 and 2. These results suggest that ALA have an antihypertensive effect with no adverse effect in subjects with high-normal blood pressure and mild hypertension.