Heart DiseaseOmega-3 Fatty Acids

Benefits of omega-3 on heart rate after heart attack

Atrial fibrillation is an abnormal heart rhythm where the upper chambers of the heart quiver instead of beating normally.

Of course, this is not good for circulating the blood.

First, the details.

  • The hospital discharge records, prescriptions, and vital statistics were evaluated in 410 patients for 3-years following their heart attack.
  • The relationship between taking omega-3 fatty acids and the propensity to have atrial fibrillation was evaluated.

And, the results.

  • Taking omega-3 fatty acids was significantly associated with a reduced risk of hospitalization for atrial fibrillation.
  • It was also significantly associated with a reduction in death due to any cause.

The bottom line?
There is support for these findings in animal and other human studies.

For example, an earlier study in dogs reported, “treatment with fish oils increased atrial n-3 PUFA [omega-3 fatty acid] [blood] levels and reduced vulnerability to … atrial fibrillation.”

Also, in a rat study, omega-3 fatty acids improved the use of oxygen in the blood and reduced the adverse effects on the heart of a diet rich in saturated fat.

Returning to humans, “PUFA [omega-3] administration during hospitalization in patients undergoing CABG [coronary artery bypass graft surgery] substantially reduced the incidence of postoperative atrial fibrillation (54.4%) and was associated with a shorter hospital stay.”


3/2/08 10:05 JR

Hi, I’m JR

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