"Fish oil is known to decrease the risk of heart arrhythmias, which are a potential cause of heart disease, stroke and sudden cardiac death. According to a new study, regular intake of fish oil can reduce heart rate and decrease the risk of sudden death by as much as 5% in the overall population."
There is significant evidence that omega-3 fatty acids can reduce arrhythmias, disorders of the regular rhythmic beating of the heart. Arrhythmias can occur in a healthy heart and be of minimal consequence, but they also may indicate a serious problem and lead to heart disease, stroke or sudden cardiac death.
A recent meta-analysis published in the journal Circulation further confirms this association. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health combined statistical analysis of thirty studies published from 1996 to 2005. These studies involved nearly 1,700 individuals treated with fish oil or placebo for up to one year. The median combined dose of EPA and DHA was 3.5 grams/day for an average of 8 weeks.
The overall estimated change in heart rate of those treated with fish oil was 1.6 beats per minute. The reduction in heart rate was even greater among trials whose participants had higher baseline heart rates. In those studies, treatment with fish oil resulted in a decreased heart rate of 2.5 beats per min. There was no evidence of a dose-response effect, and heart rate was not significantly different between higher and lower doses compared with placebo.
Although the overall effect of fish oil on heart rate appears small, researchers estimate that on a population basis this could correspond to as much as a 5% reduction in sudden death.
Mozaffarian D, Geelen A, Brouwer IA, Geleijnse JM, Zock PL, Katan MB. Effect of fish oil on heart rate in humans. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Circulation 2005;112:1945-1952.
This is just another example of the many benefits of fish oil. If you follow the research on this at all, you probably already know that new benefits are being discovered almost every day from the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil. You probably already know as well that the only significant concern or danger surrounding taking fish oil supplements is taking supplements contaminated with things like mercury. The FDA has warned that just eating too much fish can be dangerous due to mercury poisoning.
For this reason, it's all the more important to find a nutritional supplement company that both guarantees the quality of its supplements and is double checked by an outside organization to see that they meet the highest quality standards. The complete guide to Whole Nutrition recommends www.WholeNutrition.Usana.com for all omega-3 fish oil purchases as Usana manufactures their supplements according to the Pharmaceutical industry's Good Manufacturing Practices standards and is independently verified by NSF. Visit www.WholeNutrition.Usana.com for more information!