Fish Oil Supplements Have Slight Effect On Irregular Heartbeat
High doses of fish oil supplements, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, do not reduce atrial fibrillation - a common type of irregular heartbeat in which the heart can beat as fast as 150 beats a minute - according to a new study.
The study considered 337 patients with atrial fibrillation who were randomly assigned to 4 grams of fish oil a day or to placebo for up to 16 months. More than 60 percent of patients who had received fish oil experienced a recurrence of atrial fibrillation compared to 63.2 % of those taking placebo.
The study also concluded that fish oil supplements did not reduce inflammation or oxidative stress markers, which may explain its lack of efficacy.
"Fish oil has no role in the rhythm-control management of atrial fibrillation," said lead investigator Dr. Anil Nigam, Cardiologist at the Montreal Heart Institute and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Montreal, in the press release.
"What is well-known and should be recommended to prevent heart disease and reduce blood pressure is a Mediterranean-type diet rich in natural omega-3 fats and other nutrients, including fresh fruits and veggies, legumes, olive oil, while lowering intake of red meat, trans fats and saturated fats. We believe that such a strategy might also be beneficial for the treatment of atrial fibrillation although more studies are required."
The findings of the study are published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.