AbstractSpontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) were fed a basal regular diet (BD) or three different fat-supplemented diets which contained 10% hydrogenated coconut oil (HCO), 10% safflower oil (SFO), or 10% evening primrose oil (EPO). The rats received these four different diets from 4 weeks to over 24 weeks of age. The development of hypertension in SHR was significantly retarded in the EPO-supplemented animals. The blood pressure was lower in the SFO group animals as compared with the BD and HCO groups, but this did not reach significance. Sodium excretion rate in young SHR was increased in the EPO group compared with the HCO and SFO groups, and the urinary K/Na ratio was decreased in the EPO group compared with the HCO and EPO groups. Water intake and urine volume were increased in the SFO group as compared with the HCO and EPO groups. Sodium concentration in erythrocytes was decreased in the rats receiving SFO. Pressor responses to norepinephrine and angiotensin II were enhanced in the EPO and SFO groups as compared with the basal chow group. These data suggest that a dietary supplementation of EPO which contains a substantial amount of gamma-linolenic acid consistently lowers blood pressure in SHR. The mechanism is uncertain, but the effects on sodium handling may in part be responsible for the retardation of the development of hypertension. There was a difference between the EPO and the SFO groups in sodium--water handling, and to some extent in the blood pressure development in SHR.
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