New research that will be published in the July edition of Hypertension shows that a high Omega-3 Index—a known risk factor for heart disease—is inversely related to blood pressure levels in healthy young adults.
The study evaluated 2036 healthy adults between the ages of 25 and 41. Anyone with cardiovascular disease, known diabetes or a body mass index (BMI) higher than 35 kg/m was excluded. The average Omega-3 Index was 4.58%.
Compared with individuals in the lowest Omega-3 Index quartile, individuals in the highest had a systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) that was 4 and 2 mmHg lower, respectively. The fact that a difference in blood pressure was detectable between an Omega-3 Index of 3.8% and 5.8%—only a 2% spread—suggests that the “effect” might have been greater if there was a wider range of Omega-3 Index levels to test.
The researchers concluded that a higher Omega-3 Index is associated with statistically significant, clinically relevant lower SBP and DBP levels in normotensive young and healthy individuals, and that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids—specifically EPA and DHA—might be a strategy for primary prevention of hypertension. These findings support a 2014 meta-analysis by Miller et. al., whichconcluded that omega-3 fatty acids have blood-pressure-lowering effects.
The death rate from high blood pressure increased by nearly 11% in the U.S. between 2005 and 2015, and the actual number of deaths rose by almost 38%—up to nearly 79,000 by 2015, according to recent statistics from the American Heart Association. Worldwide, high blood pressure affects nearly a third of adults and is the most common cause of cardiovascular disease-related deaths.
“This is great news, especially since the American Heart Association just announced in January that more than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure, putting them at risk for heart attacks and strokes. That is nearly half of all American adults!” said Dr. Bill Harris, co-inventor of the Omega-3 Index test. “The Omega-3 Index is one of the easiest risk factors to modify. All you have to do is consume more omega-3s from the right sources, such as fatty fish like salmon or omega-3 supplements that contain EPA and DHA.”
The world’s biggest food company is acquiring Westmount, Quebec-based Atrium from an investor group led by Permira Funds, Nestle said in a statement Tuesday. The Swiss owner of Nespresso and Lean Cuisine is paying cash for the Garden of Life supplement maker, whose 2017 sales are expected to approach $700 million.
chneider is trying to turn around the Vevey, Switzerland-based company by focusing on niche acquisitions in areas like healthy eating, hipster coffee, infant nutrition and pet care. The new CEO, who joined Nestle from German health-care company Fresenius SE, is under pressure to revamp the food giant after the weakest nine-month sales since the turn of the century.
The Atrium deal, which includes the assumption of an undisclosed amount of debt, is Nestle’s biggest acquisition in medical nutrition since the company accelerated its push into health in 2006 by spending about $2.5 billion on businesses from Novartis AG that made food for hospital patients.
“This is a good start,” said Jon Cox, an analyst at Kepler Cheuvreux in Zurich. “Nestle still has firepower to do all other deals it has been linked with. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see more under-the-radar stuff rather than the big bang.”
The deal, expected to close in the first quarter, will add to earnings growth immediately, Nestle Health Science CEO Greg Behar said in a call with journalists. He added that the valuation of the deal is lower than what most assets in the consumer over-the-counter industry are going for.
“It’s a good size and digestible,” he said, adding that 80 percent of Atrium’s sales come from the U.S. Nestle plans to boost distribution in the U.S. and expand Atrium abroad, he added.
“We continue to be open, but I’m not going to comment on the other stuff that’s out there,” Behar said.
Nestle has been investing heavily in its health-science unit since 2011, trying to develop food-related products to prevent ailments such as obesity, metabolic problems and Alzheimer’s disease. Behar said in 2015 that Nestle Health Science could eventually achieve sales of 10 billion Swiss francs ($10.1 billion).
Atrium, founded in 1999, will add probiotics, plant-based protein nutrition, meal replacements and multivitamins to the Swiss company’s portfolio. The Canadian company, which has 1,400 employees, sells its supplements in health-food stores in the U.S. and selected other markets. Its brands include Wobenzym, Douglas Laboratories, Genestra Brands, Orthica, AOV, Minami, Klean Athlete, Pharmax and Trophic.
The deal for Atrium follows the Swiss company’s purchase of vegetarian-burrito maker Sweet Earth and Blue Bottle Coffee in September, after a June investment in meal-delivery startup Freshly. Activist investor Dan Loeb, who disclosed a stake in Nestle earlier this year, has said the maker of Cailler chocolate and Maggi seasonings fell behind competitors in adapting to a lower-growth environment amid changing consumer habits.
Permira bought 75 percent of Atrium in 2014 in a deal that valued the entire company, including debt, at about $1.1 billion. Existing shareholders Fonds de Solidarite FTQ and Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec held the rest of its stock.By