Health & Medical

High-Dose Fish Oil Also can simply Elevate Odds for A-Fib in Heart Sufferers

By Amy Norton

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Also can simply 3, 2021 (HealthDay Recordsdata) — Many of us take fish oil to provide protection to their coronary heart, but a unique ogle suggests that prescription versions would possibly well moreover raise the risk of a current coronary heart rhythm disorder.

At worry are prescription-strength omega-3 fatty acids, that are naturally found in fish oil. The medications are on the general prescribed to folks with very high triglycerides, a make of blood fleshy linked to increased risk of coronary heart attack and stroke.

Constant with the American Heart Association, prescription omega-3s can decrease triglycerides by 20% to 30% in most folk.

Nonetheless the medications are moreover controversial, because their closing advantages for the coronary heart are unclear.

Now the unique ogle — an evaluation of five previous clinical trials — suggests caution is in characterize. Total, trial patients given omega-3s possess been over one-third more prone to invent atrial fibrillation (a-fib) than these given a placebo. The fish oil doses taken ranged from 0.84 grams to 4 grams per day.


A-fib is a current coronary heart rhythm disorder, or arrhythmia, right by which the coronary heart’s larger chambers start to quiver chaotically in field of contracting successfully.

A-fib is no longer straight life-threatening, but it no doubt’s “no longer benign,” either, acknowledged Dave Dixon, one in every of the researchers on the ogle and an companion professor at Virginia Commonwealth College (VCU), in Richmond.

Over time, Dixon acknowledged, a-fib can lead to complications savor coronary heart failure or stroke.

Precisely how prescription-strength omega-3 would possibly well make a contribution to a-fib is unclear, in accordance to Dixon.

Nonetheless, the increased risk became quite consistent across the rigors — more consistent, in actual fact, than coronary heart advantages possess been, acknowledged co-researcher Salvatore Carbone, an assistant professor at VCU.

In all five trials, there possess been more a-fib circumstances amongst omega-3 patients than placebo patients, though the variation in risk became no longer statistically basic in all study.

Nonetheless when the researchers pooled the effects of all five trials, there became a clear result: Omega-3 patients possess been 37% more prone to invent a-fib than placebo patients possess been.

In distinction, simply one trial showed that an omega-3 product would possibly well slit the risks of different coronary heart stipulations.


In that trial, dubbed REDUCE-IT, patients the employ of a product called Vascepa (icosapent ethyl) saw their risk of “cardiovascular events” fall by 25%. That included coronary heart attack, stroke and death from cardiovascular causes.

Even in that ogle, though, a-fib risk rose amongst omega-3 users, by 35%.

Why has simply one trial found coronary heart advantages? All yet again, it’s no longer yet certain, Dixon acknowledged.

Nonetheless, he added, Vascepa is a amount of from the fish oil merchandise examined in the opposite trials. It contains simply one omega-3, called EPA, whereas the opposite merchandise possess a mixture of EPA and DHA.

And in the REDUCE-IT trial, Dixon acknowledged, bigger levels of EPA in patients’ blood correlated to diminish cardiovascular risks.

That hints, he acknowledged, that focusing on EPA would possibly well moreover very neatly be “the formulation to fade in the slay.” Nonetheless the conflicting findings on the advantages of omega-3s — along with the aptitude risk of a-fib — highlight the need for more study, the researchers acknowledged.

The evaluation became printed April 29 in the European Heart Journal — Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy.


Findings on the coronary heart advantages of fish oil possess indeed been “inconsistent,” acknowledged Linda Van Horn, a member of the coronary heart affiliation’s food regimen committee and a professor at Northwestern College Feinberg Faculty of Treatment, in Chicago.

And that involves low-dose, over-the-counter fish oil dietary supplements.

“There are minute and inconsistent recordsdata relating to the revenue or risk of taking fish oil dietary supplements,” Van Horn acknowledged.

So the coronary heart affiliation recommends exciting two servings of fish a week as one more. Van Horn acknowledged that fatty fish, equivalent to salmon, trout, albacore tuna and herring, are the top possible sources of omega-3s.

The pains in the unique evaluation examined prescription-strength omega-3s. Nonetheless Carbone acknowledged he would possibly well be cautious about over-the-counter fish oil dietary supplements, too.

“We intention no longer know if over-the-counter merchandise will possess these identical effects,” he acknowledged.

Over-the-counter fish oil is considered a dietary complement, so it’s miles now not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a drug would possibly well be, Dixon pointed out.

Each and every he and Carbone acknowledged it’s top possible to be in contact to a physician or pharmacist sooner than starting up any fish oil product and that contributors on prescription omega-3s would possibly well moreover unruffled be in contact with their doctor sooner than stopping.


Extra recordsdata

Harvard Scientific Faculty has more on fish oil and coronary heart health.

SOURCES: Salvatore Carbone, PhD, assistant professor, kinesiology and health sciences, Virginia Commonwealth College, Richmond, Va.; Dave L. Dixon, PharmD, companion professor, ambulatory care, and vice-chair, clinical services and products, division of pharmacotherapy and outcomes science, Virginia Commonwealth College, Richmond, Va.; Linda Van Horn, PhD, RD, professor and chief, food regimen division, division of preventive medication, Northwestern College Feinberg Faculty of Treatment, Chicago, and member, Diet Committee, American Heart Association, Dallas; European Heart Journal—Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy, April 29, 2021, on-line

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