Why should people at risk of heart disease avoid fish oil?

While previous research has found strong evidence that omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for heart health, recent research suggests that this popular supplement may also carry a significant risk. for some people.

New research finds that taking omega-3 supplements is associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation in people at high risk or with existing heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements are associated with an increased likelihood of developing atrial fibrillation (AFib) in people with high triglyceride levels, according to a new analysis by the European Society of Cardiology.

The new analysis looked at five randomized controlled trials and investigated the impact of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on cardiovascular outcomes. Study participants had high triglyceride levels. They are at high risk for cardiovascular disease or have received a diagnosis of it.

More than 50,000 participants were given fish oil (a source of omega-3s) or a placebo. The researchers followed them for up to 7.4 years. Fish oil dosage is from 0.84 g to 4 g per day. The researchers found that supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids was associated with a significantly increased risk of AFib compared with placebo.

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular, irregular heartbeat characterized by irregular electrical activity in the top chamber of the heart, the left atrium. Michael Goyfman, director of clinical cardiology at Long Island Jewish Forest Hills in New York, the main concern with AFib is the risk of stroke or other thromboembolic events. To reduce this risk, blood thinners are often prescribed to AFib patients at higher risk of stroke.

Fish oil increases the risk of atrial fibrillation

New study examines risk of omega-3 supplements for people at high risk of heart disease

Taking Omega-3 Fish Oil: Should or Not?

Omega-3s are essential fats that the body needs to stay healthy. According to the National Institutes of Health, omega-3s are not produced in the body. We must consume them to maintain healthy levels. The National Institutes of Health emphasizes that omega-3s are an important part of the membrane that surrounds every cell in our bodies. DHA is particularly high in eye, brain and sperm cells, and plays an important role in many bodily functions.

A 2019 scientific advisory published in the journal Circulation states that 4g of prescription omega-3s per day can reduce triglyceride levels by 20 to 30 percent in most people. However, when asked if the benefits of omega-3 supplements for healthy people outweigh their potential risks, Dr. Laurence M. Epstein, systemic director of electrophysiology at The Hospital Northwell Health’s Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Institute in New York, said it was “not clear”.

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Dr Goyfman also said that, although there is some association between high triglyceride levels and cardiovascular disease, a cause-and-effect relationship has never been established. Currently, experts also do not use triglyceride levels to calculate the risk of stroke or heart attack.

Should I use fish oil?

If you are in a risk group for heart disease, you should talk to your doctor before deciding whether to take an omega-3 supplement.

According to experts, it’s important to let your doctor know what supplements you’re taking. People with atrial fibrillation should probably avoid taking omega-3 supplements. On the other hand, people who don’t benefit from omega-3 supplements may be at increased risk of developing unnecessary atrial fibrillation. You should consider taking omega-3s if you are in a group at risk for heart disease:

  • People with a history of diabetes
  • Heart defects, including congenital heart defects
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Excessive use of alcohol or caffeine
  • Stimulant use disorder
  • Stress and anxiety
  • People with high cholesterol and low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL)
  • Overweight and obese people

Until further studies are done on the specific types and dosages of omega-3s, you should discuss further with your doctor before making the decision to stop or start taking omega-3 supplements during your pregnancy. your diet.

Experts say that while omega-3s are essential for good health, the relationship between the use of these supplements and heart health is complex. It’s best to talk to your doctor before adding omega-3s to your diet.

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Reference source

Why People at Risk of Heart Disease May Want to Avoid Fish Oil https://www.healthline.com/health-news/why-people-at-risk-of-heart-disease-may-want-to-avoid-fish -oil Access date: 16/05/2021

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