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Reduction of Arrhythmias in Patients with Fish Oil PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Dr. Bruce Holub   
Tuesday, 25 July 2006 00:00

On Monday, July 24, at a meeting of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (or ISSFAL) taking place in Cairns, Australia, Dr. R. Metcalf presented highly original findings on DHA/EPA Omega-3 fatty acids and cardiac arrhythmias from a recent pilot trial. 

Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is any death from cardiac causes within one hour of the onset of symptoms. It is almost always due to arrhythmias known as ventricular tachycardia (VT) or ventricular fibrillation (VF). 

According to the American Heart Association, “Ventricular fibrillation is very serious. Collapse and sudden cardiac death will follow in minutes unless medical help is provided immediately. If treated in time, VF and ventricular tachycardia (extremely rapid heartbeat) can be converted into normal rhythm. This requires shocking the heart with a device called a defibrillator.” 

In the presented trial, patients with heart disease either received a fish oil supplement providing 900 mg of omega-3 fatty acids (as DHA and EPA) each day for at least four weeks while other patients served as controls. All patients were subjected to arrhythmia testing by electrical impulses to induce sustained ventricular arrhythmias.

After fish oil supplementation, 75% of the patients were either no longer inducible into an arrhythmia or required extra stimulation to induce the arrhythmia as compared to only 14% in the control group. 

Dr. Metcalf indicated that dietary supplementation with fish oil may reduce susceptibility to sustained ventricular arrhythmia by increased resistance to the initiation of arrhythmias or by increasing the propensity to spontaneous termination of arrhythmias when they do occur. In other words, the fish oil helps stop arrhythmias in their track if they do occur. 

Dr. Metcalf is from the Rheumatology Unit, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia.

Source: www.dhaomega3.org


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 02:08