Heart DiseaseOmega-3 Fatty Acids

Caution taking fish oil supplements in people with implantable defibrillators

A group of Canadian researchers reviewed the medical literature on this topic.

Not all patents benefit from omega-3 fatty acids.

They searched for studies of patients with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator a year after placement.

And the results.

  • 3 studies of 573 patients who received fish oil and 575 who acted as a control group were found.
  • Reanalysis of the results (meta-analysis) showed no overall effect of fish oil on the relative risk of implantable cardioverter defibrillator discharge.
  • One study showed a significant benefit of fish oil.
  • However, the smallest study reported negative results among patients with ventricular tachycardia (a rapid life-threatening heart rhythm by the lower chambers of the heart).

The bottom line?
The findings reveal that not all patients respond the same to omega-3 fatty acid treatment.

Caution in patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators who have a history of ventricular tachycardia and who are not taking antiarrhythmic medications.

2/16/08 16:00 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.