Fish oil supplements may help some cardiac patients while harming others, suggests a new review of evidence compiled by St. Michael’s Hospital and University of Toronto researchers.
In a systematic review of trials where patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators used fish oil supplements, Dr. David Jenkins and Dr. Paul Dorian found significant differences among the trials, indicating fish oil may be beneficial to some patients while having a negative impact on others.
“Fish oils can have complex and varied effects on the heart,” says Jenkins, a U of T Professor of Medicine who runs the Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Centre at St. Michael’s Hospital. “These effects include blocking cardiac ion channels, reducing fibrosis in response to mechanical stress, decreasing blood coagulation, and possibly altering immune function.”
There is evidence from multiple large-scale population (epidemiologic) studies and randomized controlled trials that intake of recommended amounts of DHA and EPA in the form of dietary fish or fish oil supplements can reduce the risk of death, heart attack and dangerous abnormal heart rhythms in people with known cardiovascular disease, as well as potentially slow hardening of the arteries and lower blood pressure slightly. But the evidence also shows high doses can have harmful effects, such as an increased risk of bleeding. Although benefits are proposed for alpha-linolenic acid, scientific evidence is less compelling and beneficial effects may be less pronounced.
The meta-analysis reveals that studies in different patient populations with different pathophysiologies and therapeutic regimens have all produced divergent results. However, more recent data suggests that particular caution should be exercised when analyzing data from certain subgroups, such as men with stable angina. The same may also be true for patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators who have a history of ventricular tachycardia and who are not taking antiarrhythmic medications.
“Fish oils have promise as beneficial in cardiovascular disease but our work highlights our gaps in understanding and the need for more research,” adds Dorian, a cardiologist at St. Michael’s Hospital and U of T Professor of Medicine University of Toronto.
The review, which will appear in the January 15 edition of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, also indicates that further research and large randomized controlled trials are needed before long-chain omega-3 fatty acids are used in patients with heart failure and angina.
April Kemick | EurekAlert!
Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences