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Fish Oil Fails to Stop Heart Rhythm Disruption

The omega 3 fats found in fish oil are thought to be beneficial for the heart. However, a new study of more than 1500 patients undergoing heart surgery did not find that fish oil supplementation reduced the risk of irregular heart rhythms.
The patients in Argentina, Italy and the US were scheduled for surgery between 2010 and 2012. They were randomly assigned to take fish oil or placebo prior to the surgery and for approximately 10 days afterwards. Although people tolerated the fish oil without serious side effects such as excessive bleeding, there was no significant difference in how many patients developed atrial fibrillation following the surgery.
[JAMA, Nov. 21, 2012]
This is not the first time that a fish oil trial has provided disappointing results. Earlier this year, a meta-analysis of 20 randomized controlled studies found that fish oil supplements did not prevent heart attack, stroke or premature cardiovascular death better than placebo. Epidemiological studies do indicate that a diet rich in fish may be protective, so perhaps the problem lies in trying to reduce the fish effect to a single pill. You’ll find delicious recipes for fish in our book, Recipes and Remedies from The People’s Pharmacy.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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