The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    The direct effects of omega-3 fatty acids on the heart

    Omega-3 fatty acid consumption has been linked to reductions in the risk of death from heart disease.

    Now, researchers from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine report that omega-3 acts directly on the heart rather than acting through the vagus nerve, which normally regulates the heart rhythm.

    Here’s what they did.

    • Electrocardiograph (EKG) data from 18 heart transplant patients who received omega-3 fatty acid supplementation (1 to 3.4 grams/day) for 4 to 6 months were examined.

    Here’s what they found.

    • Compared to before treatment, omega-3 treatment was associated with reduced heart rate and prolonged QRS duration (a measure of the beating of the large chamber [ventricle] of the heart) in heart transplant patients who were presumably devoid of any vagus nerve effects.

    What does it mean?

    • It’s added knowledge about the effects of omega-3 fatty acids.
    • The findings suggest that omega-3 fatty acids might modify the electrical activity of the heart directly.

    More than you ever wanted to know about the EKG is available here. Go to page 82 for more info on the QRS complex.

    1/21/07 13:35 JR

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