June 21th, 2006
A new study (1) that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in June found no evidence that omega-3 fatty acids reduce arrhythmias among heart patients. The 546 individuals in the study suffered from serious heart problems and had defibrillators implanted in their bodies, a device that can deliver shocks to stabilize the heart rhythm.
One group of patients received a 2 g fish oil supplement each day whereas the control group was given placebo. There was virtually no difference in the death rate between the two groups. During the study 30 % of the patient in the fish oil group died and 33 % in the control group. The researchers therefore conclude that there is no convincing evidence that omega-3s have any protective effect among patient with arrhythmias.
1) Ingeborg et al. Effect of Fish Oil on Ventricular Tachyarrhythmia and Death in Patients With Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators.